Even at 73 years old he is full of passion – for politics as well as for his business engagements and his private life. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had the audience under his spell in an instant at TheTalk@TheStudio. Coupled with crystal-clear analysis and charming humour, he gave Ringier and Helvetia’s guests an unobstructed insight into German politics, the relationship between Europe and Russia, and the success of Hannover 96 – the German Cinderella football club he is chairman of. “It is so successful because I have threatened to play with the team myself if they do not give their full commitment”, joked Schröder, talking to presenter Christine Maier.
Schröder demonstrates full commitment to his business involvement in the Nord Stream gas pipeline projects and with Russian energy company Rosneft. The SPD politician made it clear that he ultimately fulfils these mandates in the interests of a secure gas supply for Europe, as well as Switzerland. Europe has to ensure that Russia does not continue to turn away and move towards China. There are still enough challenges without the EU allowing Russia to drift away. In security policy, for example, a lot more local aid must be provided to slow down the movement of refugees. For that we are reliant of powers like Russia, China or even Turkey.
A huge amount of investment is also still needed in Germany, in order to educate and integrate the refugees who are already here, without having a negative impact on the education and infrastructure of German citizens. However Angela Merkel’s predecessor has his doubts about whether the new government will be able to do this. “The coalition of the CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP could break down in the next year, which would lead to a new election”, anticipates Schröder.
These developments in Europe are not currently threatening Switzerland so severely. The pressure from the US, which is pursuing primarily economic interests with its tax and energy policy, even in relation to the EU, is significantly greater. But even the long-standing democratic tradition cannot ultimately hide the fact that Switzerland has to adopt laws and regulations from the EU, without having any say.
Helvetia CEO Philipp Gmür also shares this view. On the one hand Helvetia is shaped by developments in Europe through its activities in the European markets, while on the other hand ultimately EU regulations are followed in Switzerland.
In the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, another illustrious guest visited the chat show, TheTalk@TheStudio, by Helvetia and Ringier. Hosts Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, and Dr Philipp Gmür, CEO of Helvetia, each invite around 70 guests to a talk at the Ringier Pressehaus, where presenter Christine Maier interviews a high-profile guest from the world of politics and business.