Song Mocking Chancellor Takes Off In Germany

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had no comment on a popular song mocking his broken election promises not to raise taxes, his spokesman said today (Nov. 11). Government spokesman Bela Anda said th

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had no comment on a popular song mocking his broken election promises not to raise taxes, his spokesman said today (Nov. 11). Government spokesman Bela Anda said the video of "The Tax Song," a spoof set to the melody of Las Ketchup's international hit "The Ketchup Song," had not been seen in the chancellery and added he had not discussed the song with Schroeder.

"I have not seen the new video for 'The Tax Song'," Anda said at a government news conference. "I haven't talked with the chancellor about it either."

German comedian Elmar Brandt, who has made a career out of imitating Schroeder's voice, has surged up the German charts with his catchy parody of "The Ketchup Song" by Spanish dance trio "Las Ketchup," which was a massive hit across Europe and Latin America this autumn.

"Promises that were made yesterday can be broken today," Brandt sings in a voice identical to Schroeder's. "I'll raise your taxes, I'll empty your pockets, every one of you nerds stashes some cash away, but I'll find it no matter where it is.

"I'll raise taxes now because the election is over and you can't fire me now."

Schroeder's center-left Social Democrat-Greens government has slumped dramatically in voter surveys since the Sept. 22 polls after breaking election promises not to raise taxes. The government said tax increases became necessary because of worsening fiscal conditions discovered after the election.

"I'll rip you nerds off, you'll be overpowered, I'm always in for a surprise," Brandt, 30, sings in the song. "There is no tax that I can't collect. I want your bank notes, your sweaters, your cash, and your piggy banks.

"Dog tax, tobacco tax, car tax, ecological tax -- did you really think that was the end of the line?" he sings. "Like a pirate hunting for income, I'll raise all your taxes and if you're broke, you can buy your food at a discount store or go hungry."

Brandt, who is studying German literature, has sold 300,000 copies of the song in the last few weeks. He told ZDF television he was delighted about "The Tax Song" video and hoped Schroeder wasn't angry with him.

"Perhaps we can go have a beer together and talk about the issues," Brandt said in a voice imitating Schroeder.


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