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Oskar Lafontaine at »Maischberger«: Meeting with Schröder in Saarland

Photo: Melanie Grande / WDR

Almost a quarter of a century after their rift, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former SPD party chairman Oskar Lafontaine have spoken to each other again. A few months ago, they met at Lafontaine's house in Saarland.

In the ARD program "Maischberger" on Tuesday evening, Lafontaine revealed what they talked about. We then agreed on where we have controversial topics, we exclude that," Lafontaine said on Tuesday evening in the ARD program "Maischberger". These are still economic and social policy.

Asked if they had only talked about Russia, Lafontaine said: "No, also about wine and food, about literature." In terms of foreign policy, we are not only talking about Russia, but about the direction that Germany must take. In the broadcast, Lafontaine called for Europe to emancipate itself from the United States. He also called for a return to energy supplies from Russia.

Surprise resignation in 1999

After the Red-Green election victory in 1998, Lafontaine was finance minister under Chancellor Schröder and continued to be SPD party leader. At the beginning of 1999, he unexpectedly resigned from all offices and then moved further and further away from his political home and his former companions. In 2005, he finally switched to the newly founded WASG party, which later merged with the PDS to form the Left Party, in which Lafontaine then took on important functions.

After more than two decades, Schroeder and Lafontaine had recently become closer again. In May, as Stern reported last month, the meeting took place in Lafontaine's house in Saarland.

Schroeder, who is considered a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and worked for Russian energy companies for years, has also met with harsh criticism from his own party since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine because of the lack of criticism of Putin.