• Germany edition
 
Discount giant Aldi 'took government subsidies'
Photo: DPA

Discount giant Aldi 'took government subsidies'

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

German discount supermarket giant Aldi, which has consistently made its owners the richest men in the country, has been taking government subsidies to train employees, it emerged at the weekend.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,115
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd