The European Union's accounting branch has never approved a single budget: it just can't find the paperwork. Jacques Chirac was bought off by Saddam Hussein's Oil—for—Food scam, through his bagman Charles Pascal. High level corruption is pretty much the norm in major European countries. And now we see three simply amazing coincidences, one after the other:
"Ten days ahead of Germany's parliamentary elections, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended on September 8 in Berlin the signing of a framework agreement to construct a gas pipeline from Russia directly to Germany along the Baltic seabed. The line would bypass the Baltic states and Poland.... the project increases Germany's already excessive dependence on Russia for energy; undercuts the European Union's supply—diversification strategy ... and demonstratively ignores the long—standing, publicly expressed concerns of Poland and the Baltic states." [emphasis added]
Well, that's just politics, right??
So Chancellor Schroeder loses the election and is out of a job.
One month later:
"Schroeder Named Chairman of Russian Gazprom?s Baltic Pipeline Subsidiary (MosNews)
Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom on Friday named Gerhard Schroeder, the former chancellor of Germany, chairman of a pipeline—building subsidiary that has begun building the first direct energy link between Russia and Western Europe, The New York Times reported. [...] The pipeline will add range and power to Gazprom's potential for business and political leverage over the Eastern European countries on its route. When finished, the pipeline will help Russia raise prices with less risk that those nations will raise fees for crossing their territory. [emphasis added]
Schroeder championed the undersea route and, together with Putin, pushed the plan over the objections of Poland and Lithuania, which will lose the transit fees and access to gas. Now, through the Kremlin?s majority ownership of Gazprom, Schroeder will work for Putin as chairman of the Gazprom—controlled joint venture." [emphasis added]
A lot of Europeans had big question marks popping out of their heads, and some of them questioned Schroeder's conflict of interest out loud. But no, said the former Chancellor, that was outrageous! Outrageous!?
January 1, 2006. The UK Telegraph
"Russia took Europe to the brink of a winter energy crisis yesterday when it carried out a Cold War—style threat and halted gas deliveries to Ukraine, the main conduit for exports to the West. [emphasis added]
With a quarter of its gas supplied by Russia, Europe is facing serious disruption and price rises for as long as the dispute rumbles on. [emphasis added]
Moscow turned off the tap at 10am after Ukraine refused to sign a new contract with the Russian state monopoly Gazprom quadrupling prices. [emphasis and Italics added] Critics of the Kremlin say the rise was punishment for the Orange Revolution in 2004 which brought in a westward—leaning government that promised to remove Ukraine from the Kremlin's sphere of influence." [emphasis added]
So we just wonder: will former Chancellor Schroeder now resign in a huff from his well—paying job for Putin's Gazprom? After all, the Parliamentary traditions have "ministerial responsibility" ——— if your outfit screws up, you show your integrity by resigning as minister.?
We're waiting for ex—Chancellor Schroeder to speak out. No, not yet, not yet ...