Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder addresses a news conference following a Social Democratic (SPD) parliamentary faction meeting in Berlin, March 12, 2013. In a return to the national political stage, Schroeder criticised his successor Angela Merkel for failing to build on his welfare reforms and raising Berlin's euro zone crisis bill by acting too slow and too late. The 68-year old Schroeder, a Social Democrat, has kept a low profile since being beaten by Merkel in a tight election in 2005, giving the occasional interview but largely staying out of the national limelight. TO GO WITH STORY GERMANY-SCHROEDER/       REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS)

Though no stranger to purple prose, Der Spiegel (...)