Germans are not too happy with one of their politicians, Health Minister Ulla Schmidt, after she took her armoured Mercedes Limousine to Spain….and lost it. The limo, stolen near Alicante, has been recovered, but the storm over ‘wasted money’ continues.
Ms Schmidt actually flew to Spain for her holiday, paying for the flight herself, but told her official chauffeur to drive the armoured Mercedes down to meet her.
Officials at the Health Ministry in Berlin said she was meeting Germans living in Spain and therefore was within her rights to use her car. All ministers are allowed to use an official car, and chauffeur, at all times, whether at home or abroad.
Rather similar to the expenses scandal in the UK in some ways, technically acting within, sometimes vague, rules but exploiting the system and fleecing the taxpayer.
German commentators have questioned why it was necessary to have her official car in Alicante, costing the taxpayer an estimated €11,000, rather than using a local taxi for her two appointments, which would have cost about €30.
The General Secretary of the SPD stated that Ulla Schmidt behaved within the bounds of the law. Obviously wide bounds, or maybe they’ve been picking up tips from Herr Brown und co.