The Sunday Times (UK - registration required) reports that Schröder piles on taxes to fill black hole:
DURING the campaign for the September general election that returned Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to power, he was asked in a television interview about the parlous state of the German economy.More tales of woe by following the link.
Schröder had spent the summer concentrating on themes calculated to work in his favour, such as his popular opposition to war in Iraq and his purposeful handling of the floods that devastated the east of the country. Unwilling to be diverted into less comfortable territory, he gave his interviewer a categoric answer.
"Tax rises in the present economic situation are economically senseless," he assured millions of viewers.
The promise - one of many similar such pledges during the campaign - has come back to haunt him in a week of bad news that has further deepened the country’s sense of economic gloom.
Since the election victory of his ruling Social Democratic party (SPD), Schröder has piled on the misery with a series of tax increases that has been condemned by the Bundesbank and the heads of leading companies. A satirical song lampooning him as a robber baron has turned into an unexpected Christmas hit.
German journalists have referred to their country as "the star ship No Enterprise, boldly going where no leader has gone before".
One political commentator said: "It is unbelievable that Schröder - who was so trusted by the electorate, who was regarded as a national saviour after the floods in the east - should now betray them in a callous fashion. He won the election single-handed and has thrown it all away."
It's tough when your con game falls apart.