• Germany's news in English
 

Corruption watchdog barks at German inaction

Published: 28 Nov 2012 14:24 GMT+01:00

The European Council's Group of States Against Corruption (Greco) issued an unusually critical preliminary report on Germany on Wednesday, focusing on efforts made to change laws banning bribery of MPs and regulating political party financing.

A year ago the corruption watchdog concluded that only four of its 20 recommendations to clean up German politics had been implemented. And since then nothing has changed, Der Spiegel reported.

Germany has made "no concrete progress," Greco concluded. The situation was "generally unsatisfactory", the group said.

Greco's president is expected to write an official letter of discontent to the German representative to say that the, "relevant recommendations have not been implemented and decisive action is necessary in order to achieve concrete progress as soon as possible."

Germany has still not ratified a European agreement to bring in laws which would severely punish corrupt MPs. The agreement was signed in 1999, followed by an additional protocol in 2003, Der Spiegel noted - but no government has ratified or implemented it.

The second part of the report which deals with the topic of party finances is also critical of a lack of change. The experts had previously called for Germany to significantly reduce the trigger for a donation to have to be published from the current level of €50,000.

But the cabinet this summer concluded that this did not need to be changed.

The only sign of a change of heart seems to be coming from parliamentary president Norbert Lammert, from Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing Christian Democratic Union. He drew up a position paper last month calling for a tightening of the ban of bribing MPs.

Back in August, the heads of 35 major companies also called for Germany to ratify the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:34 November 28, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The German government is failing to fight corruption.

That is a joke. Why would they fight something they are up to their necks involved with? Isn't German corporate corruption what this whole EU Euro mess is about anyway? Asking the German government to fight corruption is like asking Al Capone to be one of 'The Untouchables'.
16:39 November 28, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Berlin fuer alles sums it up. A group of people who tell others how they should live from 500 Euros a month, but help themselves to an income they can never be worthy of, is little more than a political Mafia. After living more than fifty years in this country, I trust none of them. The only trouble is, most governments in Europe are little better and many even worse.
Today's headlines
Alps plane crash
Video 'shows crash final moments'
A recovery worker at the crash site. Photo: DPA

Video 'shows crash final moments'

German tabloid Bild and French magazine Paris match revealed on Tuesday that their reporters had seen video from inside Germanwings flight 4U9525 in the final moments before the plane crashed. READ  

Arsonists hit pro-refugee art project
The burnt ruins of the art project. Photo: DPA

Arsonists hit pro-refugee art project

An art installation dedicated to refugees was burnt down in Berlin early on Tuesday, with police suspecting it to be an arson attack. READ  

Hurricane Niklas
Storm Niklas kills at least three, stops trains
This train in Lower Saxony had to stop after striking a fallen tree. Photo: DPA

Storm Niklas kills at least three, stops trains

Hurricane “Niklas” has reportedly claimed three victims, while trains have been cancelled across Germany as the storm rages. READ  

Stuttgart worst city for traffic jams
Photo: DPA

Stuttgart worst city for traffic jams

GPS company TomTom released data on Tuesday showing which cities have the worst traffic problems. The conclusion: Stuttgart is Germany's worst city for commuters. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Lufthansa cancels 60th jubilee celebration
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa cancels 60th jubilee celebration

Germany's national airline Lufthansa announced on Tuesday that it would cancel celebrations for the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1955. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Doctors warn against snap crash reaction

Doctors warn against snap crash reaction

The president of Germany's Council of Psychotherapists said on Tuesday that there was no reason why the country should loosen its rules on doctor-patient confidentiality in the wake of the Germanwings crash. READ  

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance
Chancellor Merkel speaking in Helsinki. Photo: DPA

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance

On a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel showed a patient side to the German government as the Eurozone continues to wait for a new list of economic reforms from Greece. READ  

Unemployment at new post-unification low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment at new post-unification low

German unemployment fell in March to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 as growth in Europe's biggest economy continues to pick up, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'
A Trabant being converted into an E-car. Photo: DPA

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'

Its chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German 'Trabi' is leading a new revolution, and this time you won't hear it coming. READ  

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles
A German soldier aims a G36 rifle. Photo: DPA

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles

Update: Weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch denied on Monday evening that the G36 rifles it supplied to the Bundeswehr (German army) lose their accuracy when they are too hot. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
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

7,090
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd