Schroeder gets Swiss job

Swiss publisher Ringier has hired former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as an adviser on international political affairs. The announcement comes a day after Schroeder handed the keys of the German parliament to Christian Democrat rival Angela Merkel.

Schroeder will take up his post in January at the Zurich-based Ringier, the largest publishing house in Switzerland, said publisher Michael Ringier.

No compensation details were disclosed. "As a chancellor he was a modest man," Ringier said. "If it was about money, he could surely have taken another job."

Schroeder, who was Germany's seventh post-war leader, handed over to new Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday and his mandate officially ran out at midnight on Wednesday.

Ringier said Schroeder would not become a member of the board of directors or any other panel, but will be available for consultations.

The former German leader probably will be in Zurich once or twice a week and has been given a fifth-floor office at the company's headquarters, located in the city's lakeside area.

"I am convinced that Schroeder's international experience will enrich our firm, in that publishers also have to be politically active," Ringier said. "You don't offer a contract stating something like 40 hours or so a week to such an individual."

Ringier indicated Schroeder could perhaps join the company on trips – the company also has extensive holdings in Eastern Europe – and that the exact form of cooperation would still have to "somehow evolve", Swissinfo reports. V.Y.

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