27 November 2005

*Pats self on back*

Forgive me, but I have to put humility aside and congratulate myself briefly. You may recall that in this post about the developments in German politics, I noted that Schröder's resignation from the Bundestag would not require a by-election and that I thought that meant he would be replaced by one Clemens Bollen. Well, it turns out I was right and you read it here first before any of the news media outets I read reported it. Yay me! I know it's not hard to look up a list and work out who comes next on it, but this is the first time I've ever written anything even resembling a scoop, so indulge me here.

BERLIN - Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder resigned Wednesday from the new German parliament, one day after handing over office in Berlin to his successor Angela Merkel.

A spokeswoman said he signed the resignation, to take "immediate effect", in the office of the speaker of parliament, Norbert Lammert.

Schroeder, 61, had said earlier this month he would reopen his law practice in Berlin, but he surprised supporters Monday when he said he would end parliamentary life immediately. He has told Merkel he will let her get on with her job without sniping at her.

No by-election is required, as Schroeder was elected as part of a Social Democratic slate. Everyoneelse on the list moves up one, bringing a new Social Democrat, Clemens Bollen, 57, into the Bundestag.

In fact, since that Expatica article was written, it has been revealed that in addition to pratising law, Schröder has also been signed up by a Swiss publishing house as an international media and political consultant. The idea is that Schröder will accompany the publisher on trips abroad, advise him on the finer points of international politics and foreign affairs, and principally act as a sort of "door-opener." Smart move on the part of the publisher, I'd have thought.

/back pat.