The Social Democrats lashed back at the CDU after the opposition party had again fiercely criticized German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's role in the visa affair. The newspaper Berliner Zeitung reported Monday that the SPD's chairman of the parliamentary hearing investigating the scandal, the Social Democrat's secretary general Olaf Scholz, reproached North Rhine-Westphalia's CDU premier Jürgen Rüttgers with abusing the issue for an election campaign. Rüttgers had called the controversial visa handling, which allegedly led to the to misuse of visas by criminal human traffickers from Eastern Europe, a "massive human rights violation". Scholz described the premier's statement as "hysterical" and "inappropriate comparison." Meanwhile, the Green Party's foreign policy parliamentary group made clear that Fischer's authority concerning the visa competence is not going to be restricted.