It’s the Wurst! Schröder slams sausage-free Volkswagen menu

BERLIN — Ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder demanded Tuesday that car giant Volkswagen reverse its decision to stop selling its in-house currywurst sausages to ravenous employees.

The former German leader — in office from 1998 to 2005 — is usually focused on lobbying on behalf of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but he also used to be the leader of Lower Saxony, VW’s home region, and still keeps a close eye on the automaker, which decided to switch one of its canteens to a vegetarian-only menu.

“If I were still on the supervisory board of VW, there would have been no such thing,” he said in a lengthy social media post defending the currywurst on Tuesday.

While conceding that a vegetarian diet can be good, and that he himself follows one occasionally, the former Social Democrat chancellor responded to the currywurst ban with a definitive “Nein.”

“Currywurst with fries is one of the power bars of the skilled production worker,” Schröder said. “It should stay that way.”

Volkswagen produces the branded bangers and serves them up in staff canteens, and in local supermarkets too. In 2019, the company produced 7 million of them.

The humble currywurst was invented in Berlin in 1949, and includes sliced pork sausage lathered in spiced ketchup with curry powder sprinkled liberally on top. It’s usually served with fries or a small bread roll.

After 28 years as Germany’s favorite canteen dish, this year it was replaced by spaghetti bolognese.

In the run-up to Germany’s 2013 election, the Greens had proposed a controversial policy for company canteens: employers should introduce one meat-free day per week to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases caused by meat production.

“Enough is enough!” tabloid Bild headlined at the time.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to clarify that just one of Volkswagen’s canteens is becoming vegetarian-only

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