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Schröder Snubs Germany's Top Tabloid

Government spokesperson Bela Anda announced on Wednesday that "on the strength of the way he and his policies are depicted, Chancellor Schröder has decided he will no longer give Bild newspaper interviews." Anda did not comment on whether Bild reporters would still be allowed to accompany the chancellor on trips abroad but did stress that the paper failed to deliver fair and balanced coverage of the government's performance. "The way (the paper) approaches Berlin's policies is a combination of malice, baiting and contempt, served up with semi-truths," Anda said. He should know .- the government spokesperson was himself an editor at Bild before he took up his current position in 1998. In recent weeks, Schröder has repeatedly accused the paper, published by the right-leaning Axel-Springer-Verlag, of running a witch-hunt against his government. The paper's editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann retaliated by saying that "an attempt to cure the red-green coalition's self-confessed communication problems by withholding information gives us plenty of insight into the way a press spokesperson operates."