Monday, 18 August 2008

Our minister ! their minister!!

Politicians are almost the same in some characteristics irrespective of their countries. I have found quite similar examples between Education minister of Nepal (least developed country) and Education minister of Germany. Our E minister Pradeep Nepal, did not feel shy to visit Olympic game (China) with his wife, even after his resignation from Government, and also the Education minister of Germany Mrs.Annette Schavan did the same expense to visit Jurich on the Government expense just to get interview with newspaper.
The story flows as follows:
German Minister Under Fire for Taking Costly Flight
German Education Minister Annette Schavan is being criticized for taking a military helicopter flight costing €26,500 to travel from Stuttgart to Zurich to give a newspaper interview and hold a speech. A scheduled flight would have cost €329.
German Education Minister Annette Schavan has been criticized by opposition politicians after a newspaper reported that she used a government helicopter rather than taking a far cheaper ordinary flight to get to an appointment.
A spokeswoman for Schavan on Monday defended her decision to take the €26,500 helicopter flight to cover the 146 kilometer distance from the city of Stuttgart in southwestern Germany to Zurich in Switzerland, where she was due to be interviewed by a newspaper and hold a speech. A scheduled flight would have cost €329.
"The minister didn't have any alternative other than the air force standby service to make her appointment in time," said the education ministry spokeswoman. The appointments were "important and had to be reached punctually."
The report in Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday sparked criticism that Schavan had wasted taxpayers' money.
A senior member of the opposition Green Party, Undine Kurth, said: "The air force standby service is a good way to transport government members to important meetings in exceptional circumstances." A newspaper interview and a speech were not important enough for air force transport to be used, said Kurth, adding that alternative modes of transport could have been arranged.
Bernhard Gertz, the chairman of the German Army Federation, a kind of trade union for the armed forces, also criticized Schavan. "A one-hour flight with a Cougar helicopter costs around €5,300. If our politicians take these flights to hold speeches, these costs should be born by the government's budget rather than the armed forces budget," said Gertz. The military urgently need the funds for other uses, for example to provide helicopters for its Afghanistan mission, he added. Bild am Sonntag reported that the helicopter with its crew of three had to fly across Germany from Berlin to Stuttgart to pick up Schavan. Members of Schavan's party, the conservative Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, defended the minister.

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