Berlin, Dec. 9 (Reuters): Angry Germans who think Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to tear the last shirt off their backs with his plans to raise taxes have decided to spare him the trouble. His office is being deluged with old shirts.
The “last shirt for Schroeder” campaign was launched two weeks ago by Christian Stein, an Internet marketing consultant from Dortmund. The campaign website www.aktionletzteshemd.de recorded 33,200 people as saying they had sent a shirt so far. “Dear Gerhard, I wish you a happy festive season and send you my last shirt to fulfill your greatest Christmas wish. That should make all further tax increases superfluous as I have nothing else left anyway,” shirt senders write to Schroeder.
The website also offers T-shirts for sale, which read:“I am wearing this T-shirt because Schroeder has my last shirt”.
A government spokesman said Schroeder's office had received 9,000 shirts by last Friday, with 7,000 already sent on to a shop that raises money for the unemployed in the western city of Bielefeld and other charities interested in taking the rest.
Schroeder's popularity has plunged in polls since he narrowly won re-election as he has announced tax increases.