German government backs code of conduct after Schroeder lines up gas company job

Germany may need a code of conduct for politicians, the government said Monday, after former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder accepted a job on a German-Russian gas project that he championed in office.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has a "certain understanding for the questions that have come up," government spokesman Thomas Steg said. The government would look at whether a code of conduct was needed, he said.

Schroeder has drawn a barrage of criticism since it emerged on Friday that he will take a top position with a consortium building a &to=' target=_blank>pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Politicians and commentators have questioned the ethics of a former chancellor profiting personally from a project which had his strong support before he made way for Merkel in November.

But Schroeder rejected the criticism and announced legal action over reports he would be paid between Ђ200,000 and Ђ1 million (between Ђ230,000 and Ђ1.2 million) a year.

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