Schroeder Quits Government
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 Ã¢€” 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.