Schroeder Quits Government

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will not play a role in the future government of Germany.

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who has led Germany since 1998, said for the first time on Wednesday he would not play a role in the next government, in an emotional farewell including broadsides at the United States and Britain.

“I will not be a part of the next government — definitely not be part of it,” a tearful looking Schroeder told a rapt audience of union members in his home city of Hanover.

Of course, he also managed to take a swipe at the U.S. as well.

In an apparent reference to Hurricane Katrina, Schroeder castigated Washington for liberal, hands-off policies that left it exposed in times of crisis. The Bush administration was widely criticised for its response to the devastating storm.

“I do not want to name any catastrophes where you can see what happens if organised state action is absent. I could name countries, but the position I still hold forbids it, but everyone knows I mean America,” he said to loud applause.

While the devastation in economic terms was huge due to Katrina, in terms of loss of life compared to other disasters around the world there is little comparison. The recent earthquake in Pakistan has claimed 30,000 plus, the tsunami from 2004 claimed the lives of 170,000 to 275,000 people. Even the worst predictions for Hurricane Katrina have turned out to be quite far off the mark. Why? Part of the answer looks like it is due to “little” government.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Natural Disasters, World Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Two words: auf wiedersehen!

  2. ron says:

    Honestly, I would have thought he was speaking of over 10000 dead in France because of a heatwave. Oh yeah, that is what happen when organized state action is present (not absent). Big government can do it bigger, better, and deader.

  3. ICallMasICM says:

    Doesn’t anyone think it’s both odd and pathetic that he would spend any time speaking about the issues of any other country?

  4. Maggie says:

    Gee, I was going to guess that he was talking about Chirac who let 15,000+ seniors die in the Paris heat wave, August, 2004.

  5. McGehee says:

    He’ll still have his little piano and his bust of Beethoven.