Germany's Fischer to promote EU pipeline

27th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The former German foreign minister will offer the EU’s Nabucco gas pipeline political and PR consulting.

Berlin -- Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has taken a job promoting a European gas pipeline, following in the footsteps of his former boss, former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a magazine reported Thursday.

Manager Magazin said in its Friday issue that Fischer would offer European Union's Nabucco gas pipeline "political and PR consulting" and had signed a contract in the hundreds of thousands of euros range.

Fischer withdrew from politics after his Greens failed to score enough votes in the 2005 election to remain in the government.

The party had been the junior partner in Schroeder's centre-left government for seven years, with Fischer as chief diplomat and vice-chancellor.

After his own defeat to Angela Merkel, Schroeder raised eyebrows in Germany by signing a lucrative deal to head the Nord Stream pipeline project led by Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom.

Schroeder had just months before signed the agreement to build the pipeline with his close friend Vladimir Putin, the current Russian prime minister.

And last January, Schroeder agreed to join the board of British-Russian oil firm TNK-BP.

The 3,300-kilometre (2,000-mile) Nabucco pipeline is due to bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Austria via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, while bypassing Russia, in a bid to reduce Europe's energy dependence on Moscow.

"Above all, Fischer is to keep Turkey happy," Manager Magazine wrote. "Fischer is highly regarded in Turkey because he was always open to its joining the EU."

A former street-fighting radical, Fischer was the Greens' strongest voice while he was still active in politics.

Since then, he has taught at Princeton University in the United States and worked on his memoirs.


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