German government backs off unpopular teen sex law: report

The German government is likely to back off a proposal for a new sex crimes law that some experts said could have criminalized normal teenage dating, according to a newspaper report on Tuesday.

German government backs off unpopular teen sex law: report
Photo: DPA

German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries, a Social Democrat, agreed to revisions after meeting with legal experts from Germany’s ruling parliamentary coalition of Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU), the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung reported.

Parliament was reacting to criticism from legal experts and sex researchers who said the law could have put normal teenage sexual behaviour into a legal grey area.

Under the original proposal teenagers between 14 and 17 years old could have faced charges for using money or other something else of value to encourage sexual contact from another minor. A previous law had only applied to adults over 18 years of age.

Though the revised proposal will still apply to teenagers, CDU legal spokesman Jürgen Gehb told the newspaper it would only apply when a suspect intentionally takes advantage of a victim’s financial situation in order to get sex.

Critics said the original rule could have left teens facing charges after making out on a movie date.


Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for removing some of his official post-retirement perks over his links to Russian energy giants, his lawyer said Friday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Schröder, 78, has come under heavy criticism for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and involvement with state-backed energy companies.

The decision to suspend Schröder’s taxpayer-funded office and staff in May was “contrary to the rule of law”, Michael Nagel, told public broadcaster NDR.

Schröder “heard of everything through the media”, Nagel said, noting that the Social Democrat had asked for a hearing before the budget committee responsible but was not given the chance to express himself.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over Russia ties

Schröder’s lawyers filed the complaint with an administrative Berlin court, a spokesman for the court confirmed.

In its decision to strip him of the perks, the committee concluded that Schröder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

Most of Schröder’s office staff had already quit before the final ruling was made.

Despite resigning from the board of Russian oil company Rosneft and turning down a post on the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in May, Schröder has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.

The former chancellor met Putin in July, after which he said Moscow was ready for a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine — comments branded as “disgusting” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Last week, the Social Democrats concluded that Schröder would be allowed to remain a member after he was found not have breached party rules over his ties to the Russian President.

Schröder’s stance on the war and solo diplomacy has made him an embarrassment to the SPD, which is also the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.