German politician, born on April 7, 1944 in Mossenberg (Westphalia). Of humble origin, on September 27, 1998 reached the German Chancellery and was re-elected after elections in 2002. At the end of 2005, he/she handed over the Government Headquarters to the Democrat Angela Merkel.
Son of a peon of fallen Mason in the second world war, Gerhard and his brothers lived a childhood not without hardships; his mother was working more than 14 hours a day to ensure the sustenance of the family. When he/she completed elementary school, he/she worked as an apprentice at a hardware store and then combined their high school night classes with different jobs as a bricklayer and dependent.
Sobrado of tenacity and determination, he/she studied law at the University of Göttingen and before reaching age 20 entered in the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The young Schröder did not hesitate to charge notoriety enters the ranks of the formation, and in 1978 he/she was elected Chairman of the Young Socialists (Jusos). Already serving as a lawyer when, two years later, premiered his seat as a member of the Bundestag (Parliament) by the District of Hanover.
His first political success at national level came in May 1990. In the legislative elections of the State of Lower Saxony, his party was the most votes (44.2%) and managed to unseat the Democracia-Cristiana (CDU) of the regional Executive after 14 years of uninterrupted term. He/She was elected President of Lower Saxony with the support of the Greens and was with this formation a coalition Executive. Despite his rising political career, in the extraordinary Congress of the SPD, held in June 1993, Schröder resigned to qualify for the election as the Democratic presidential candidate, since their chances of victory were reduced against the candidate of consensus, Rudolf Scharping; Head of Government of the State of Rhineland Palatinate.
Re-elected President of Lower Saxony in June 1994, Schröder was the architect of the absolute majority of the SPD - the first in many years in the regional elections last March. However, in the summer of 1995, the leader of the party, Rudolf Scharping, dismissed you as economic spokesman after the controversy that raised some statements theirs, which claimed that too many differences there were between the economic policy of the Socialist and Christian Democrat Party (CDU) of Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
On March 1, 1998, the SPD was re-elected in the elections of Lower Saxony with an unknown and broad popular support: 48% of the votes. The day after the victory, the party proclaimed Schröder federal elections on September 27. Concluded the elections, Gerhard Schröder triumphed with one larger margin than expected that guaranteed an Executive of social democratic majority in Germany after 16 years of Christian Democrat rule. Formed a coalition Government with the environmentalist Greens Party, whose leader, Joschka Fischer, was appointed Foreign Minister.
Accomplished the legislature with more difficulties than planned, polls ventured to 2002 one of the most hotly contested elections in German history. Forecasts were met and the new Christian Democrat leader Edmund Stoiber and Social Democrat Chancellor managed a near-stalemate in the electoral consultation although the good results of the Greens, Schröder Cabinet partners, ensured the setting of a new Government in Germany's red-green. However, before the end of the year, the social democratic leader lived one of the most critical moments of his political career. The decision to increase the tax pressure to alleviate the financial crisis of public finances sank their popularity and became one of the most questioned the country's leadership.
The unpopular economic guidelines put in place to keep under control the public deficit (increased taxes, cut subsidies and increase in Social security contributions) were answered by the citizenry in the regional elections of February 2003, with a severe blow for the SPD in the Länder of Hessen and Lower Saxony; circumstance that gave the CDU conservatives a greater control in the upper House of Parliament (Bundesrat).
Schröder succeeded, however, the support of his party, met in extraordinary Congress, and went ahead with its economic project, included in the document "Agenda 2010" and that envisaged cuts in benefits for unemployment, sickness and retirement. Its management was under new criticism in the summer of 2003 after it reached a pact with the CDU to reform the German health system.
The Chancellor ended the year with two new black spots to his credit: the SPD suffered another electoral punishment, this time in Bavaria, and the party closed its ordinary Congress in Bochum with a sharp decline in popularity. On 6 February 2004, Schröder resigned as SPD Chairman and Franz Müntefering succeeded him in office. Days later, the electoral collapse of the SPD was confirmed with a historic defeat in the city-state of Hamburg and, before the end of 2004, the via crucis of the Social Democrats in the polls continued with new punishments in Saarland, Saxony and Brandenburg.
2005 confirmed the regressive trend of the SPD with the loss of the regional presidency of Schleswig-Holstein and the historic defeat in elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most influential State in the country ruled by the Social Democrats since 1966. With these results, Schröder was practically without support in the Bundesrat, the Chamber of territorial representation of the Länder and, before the end of the month of may, the Chancellor proposed early general elections a year. To achieve this, orchestrated a political maneuver that some critical sectors questioned harshly: July 2 was submitted to a vote of parliamentary confidence in order to lose it, causing the dissolution of the Chamber and the electoral advance. The head of the Executive justified its controversial decision on the need to find enough support to legitimize the economic reforms undertaken by his Cabinet.
He fought with forces renewed during the election campaign, and despite the fall of popularity, in just two months attained polls equate your possibilities with the Democrat candidate Angela Merkel. Forecasts were met and the results of the elections, finally concluded on September 18, granted Schröder a defeat with taste of triumph. The CDU managed to an ajustadisima victory of just four seats over the SPD, which forced Merkel to negotiate with other political forces the configuration of a new stable Government for Germany. The negotiating process to form Cabinet lasted for several weeks until finally on 10 October, the CDU and the SPD, the two main parties of the country, agreed to form a grand coalition of Government for the entire legislature, with Angela Merkel at the head of the Foreign Ministry. On 22 November the Bundestag approved the appointment of the first female Chancellor of Germany. Schröder, who had resigned to become part of the new German Executive and leadership positions in their party, voted in favor of the candidate of consensus. It was his last political action before giving up his seat in the Chamber and express their intention to return to the legal profession.
However, 24 after his retirement as a politician, the Swiss Publishing Group Ringier announced the hiring of Schröder as a consultant. The controversy soon arrive when days later the former Chancellor accepted also the Presidency of the Council of surveillance of NEGP, Consortium rusoaleman responsible for the construction and exploitation of a underwater gas pipeline between the two countries through the Baltic. This bilateral project, that Schröder had agreed with Putin when he/she was the Foreign Ministry, was protested by neighbouring countries which were excluded from the gas megainstalacion. In March 2006 it added new position and new controversy after becoming the Rothschil banking Adviser.