• Germany's news in English
 
Discount giant Aldi 'took government subsidies'
Photo: DPA

Discount giant Aldi 'took government subsidies'

Published: 07 May 2012 15:26 GMT+02:00

But weekly magazine Der Spiegel said many details remain shrouded in secrecy even by the government, to protect the commercial interests of Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd – separate but associated companies.

Information officially requested from the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG) did show that Aldi training was being paid for with government funds, but details were scarce.

“The requested information concerns details which have not been approved for the public, and due to a request for secrecy from Aldi, cannot be released,” the BAG statement sent to Spiegel said.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, under whose remit the BAG falls, refused to comment, while his staff merely said that, “as long as Aldi Nord, and Süd, meet the eligibility criteria for the subsidy, they are justified in receiving it.”

Green MP Valerie Wilms, who submitted a parliamentary question to try to uncover how much Aldi was getting, was told that the way BAG handled data was such that it was difficult to see how much individual companies were getting.

“It is aggravating as an MP, to have to have to poke around in the dark and not get clear information about what is done with tax payer’s money and subsidies,” she said.

“The subsidies should be helping with training and development – not to pep up the savings programme of a discounter. It would be outrageous if a billion-euro firm like Aldi was actually tapping into this money,” she told Der Spiegel.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:22 May 7, 2012 by nemo999
Now that is the way to run a free and open government.

Everyone of no consequence will have no idea of where their tax dollars are going, who is sending it there, and what is being done with it once it get there.

It appears to be a perfect system for keeping everyone of no consequence in the dark, and it appears to be working quite well, except for this little slip up. So lets not muck it up by demanding all that information, let us just keep it between our rich elected officials and our rich corporation owners, it will be their little secret.
00:02 May 8, 2012 by wood artist
If they're working within the current law, don't blame them...blame the people who wrote the law if you think it's bad. It may not have been intended to work as it does, and might well need some fixing, but that doesn't mean they're automatically doing anything illegal.

wa
20:23 May 11, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Germany is well known for the unhealthy connection between MPs and the leaders of industry and commerce. It is therefore not surprising when Aldi is now in a situation where subsidies can be obtained without great difficulty. Was it not a close member of the current environment-minister's family who was for many years, a top manager for Aldi-Nord?
Today's headlines
Xenophobia thrives in shadow of Berlin towers
A demo in Marzahn-Hellersdorf. File photo: DPA

Xenophobia thrives in shadow of Berlin towers

There's little to break the monotony of communist-era apartment blocks stretching across Marzahn-Hellersdorf, an east Berlin satellite district that has gained national notoriety for a spate of anti-foreigner protests. READ  

Ecuador returns German money in oil valley spat
Photo: DPA

Ecuador returns German money in oil valley spat

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Saturday that Quito would be giving back about $8.5 million donated by Germany last year, in an environmental row. READ  

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn
Photo: DPA

German bank sues Ecclestone for €345mn

German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million ($423 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report. READ  

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany
Joachim Löw holding the World Cup trophy. File photo: DPA

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

World Cup winners Germany have suffered something of a hangover since their triumph in Brazil, but coach Joachim Löw is hoping a new-look side can go on to claim more glory at Euro 2016. READ  

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges
Photo: DPA

T-Mobile to pay $90 mn over US fraud charges

German mobile phone company T-Mobile has agreed to pay at least $90 million to settle US government claims that it bilked customers with bogus charges, US regulators said Friday. READ  

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,165
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd