He became Bundeskanzler on October 27, 1998 after having won elections in Lower Saxony for the third time in March that year and being Ministerpräsident there since 1990. Since the resignation of Oskar Lafontaine from his office as SPD chairman in March, 1999, he has held that office as well. In the general elections on September 22, 2002, his term was extended by four years, thanks to the victory of his governing Red-Green coalition.
He spoke strongly against the war on Iraq during 2003, and denied any military assistance which has given rise to political discomforts between the USA and Germany, as Germany was considered one of the most important and intimate allies since the end of World War II. Schröder's opposition to the war had multiple reasons, one of which was that the German constitution prohibited entering a war as an aggressor.
Schröder has been married four times:
|Chancellors of Germany|