Rolf Martin Schmitz cuts an inconspicuous figure as he hurries through Berlin in a hat and trench coat, looking a bit like a detective. But the current deputy and future chief executive of German energy giant RWE doesn’t tread softly, nor does his appearance fit his mission.
As the man who pulls the political strings for RWE in Berlin, he has been negotiating with a government panel for months about how much the company should pay into a fund for handling nuclear waste.
He speaks bluntly, often loudly, arguing that RWE can’t afford to contribute more than the current reserves of €10 billion, or $11.3 billion.
“You can’t pick a naked person’s pockets,” he said.