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Steinbrück defends low wage Chancellor remark
Photo: DPA

Steinbrück defends low wage Chancellor remark

Published: 05 Jan 2013 13:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Jan 2013 13:56 GMT+01:00

Social Democrat challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel Peer Steinbrück on Saturday stood by his comments last week that Germany's leader was not paid enough - despite widespread scorn over his perceived obsession with money.

"I will not conceal this truth, not even as Chancellor candidate," Steinbrück told the Tagesspiegel newspaper on Saturday.

The former finance minister denied he had demanded the Chancellor's wages - currently €17,000 a month plus benefits – be increased. He had only suggested that the Chancellor was paid too little in comparison with business leaders – specifically with bank managers - a position he defended.

"I say what I think and I do what I say," he told the paper, adding that he intended to continue to speak plainly in the future, even as his Social Democrat (SPD) colleagues struggled to repair the damage to their party's reputation.

The issue of money has dogged Steinbrück since he launched his campaign for the autumn 2013 general election. He was first accused of using his influence when finance minister to gain sponsorship for a chess match, then admitted he earned €1.25 million for speeches.

The SPD candidate did however admit his comments about the wage paid for the job he was seeking could have been misunderstood by people struggling to get by on low incomes.

“Of course you can live well on that,“ said Steinbrück, especially from the perspective of a single mother on €1,000 a month.

Steinbrück dismissed as “nonsense“ accusations that he himself was after a higher wage should he topple Merkel in the election. Anyone not happy with a wage should not apply for the job, he said.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:15 January 5, 2013 by lucksi
Man, so many great pics of that man about :D

But lay off the poor man, he has already said that he wors 7 days a week, 12 to 13 hours daily. Thus breaking every rule in the book about working lenghts. And he still has time for some speeches next to his work. Or maybe his woring time included the speeches, who knows.
17:05 January 5, 2013 by realist1961
At this rate, Merkel will be paying Steinbrück to give speeches.
17:19 January 5, 2013 by twisted
I agree with Steinbrück in his comparison with what bankers are paid, but perhaps, no, not perhaps, certainly, bankers are way overpaid for what they do. How about some control on the banks so that more money flows to the employees and stockholders and less expensive loans.
17:47 January 5, 2013 by maxbrando
You Germans think like hourly workers. All of you - except for a very few. If you divide the number of working hours into their annual slaaries one will probably find that the banker/executive/political leader is working at or below the minimum wage. Do the math you jealous fools.
17:55 January 5, 2013 by raandy
If he owns a dog, I bet it is a pug.
19:38 January 5, 2013 by IchBinKönig
Well, I'm looking forward to the story about Merkel's Photo-op with Blackface children.
22:24 January 5, 2013 by puisoh
17,000euros only, that's really a little low. You pay peanuts, you get monkeys, just look at the competency of the politicians.

When you pay enough, you get psychopathic bankers.
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