Critics slam German MP pay raise

A proposal to raise pay for members of Germany’s parliament for the second time in a year drew bitter criticism on Wednesday.

Critics slam German MP pay raise
Photo: DPA

Taxpayers’ Alliance President Harl Heinz Däke called the increase ‘shameless’ in an interview Wednesday in the German newspaper Saarbrücker Zeitung.

On the heels of a 9 percent raise in November, a two-tiered 6 percent raise would hike MP pay 16.4 percent, Däke said.

Dirk Niebel, secretary general of the liberal opposition party the Free Democrats (FDP), called for an independent commission to set MP pay.

“Public sector wage contracts do not necessarily have to be transferred to MPs and their paychecks,” Niebel told the newspaper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung.

Leaders of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) proposed the increase to keep pace with public sector pay that is rising in the wake of labour struggles across Germany.

Under the pay increases now planned, the 612 members of Germany’s Bundestag would see their monthly pay rise €278 ($430) to €7,946 on Jan. 1, an increase of 3.63 percent.

A second 2.68 percent raise – an increase of €213 each month to €8,159 – is planned a year later.

Representatives of trade union Verdi, which has led strikes and wage disputes, said they were astonished at the proposed increase and that MPs should not automatically benefit from increases fought for by civil servants.

“The MPs have to make their own case for why they think their pay should increase,” Klaus Weber, Verdi division head for the civil service, told the newspaper Berliner Zeitung.


‘A good thing’ for footballers to express values, says France’s PM

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne - speaking in Berlin - said that footballers should be allowed to express their values, amid controversy over FIFA's stance against the 'OneLove' armband on the pitch.

'A good thing' for footballers to express values, says France's PM

“There are rules for what happens on the field but I think it’s a good thing for players to be able to express themselves on the values that we obviously completely share, while respecting the rules of the tournament,” said Borne at a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Germany’s players made headlines before Wednesday’s shock loss to Japan when the team lined up for their pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths after FIFA’s threat to sanction players wearing the rainbow-themed armband.

Seven European nations, including Germany, had previously planned for their captains to wear the armband, but backed down over FIFA’s warning.

Following Germany’s action, Wales and the Netherlands have since come out to say they would not mirror the protest.

Borne’s visit to Germany was her first since she was named to her post in May.

Following talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders signed an agreement for “mutual support” on “guaranteeing their energy supplies”.

Concrete measures outlined in the deal include France sending Germany gas supplies as Berlin seeks to make up for gaping holes in deliveries from Russia.

Germany meanwhile would help France “secure its electricity supplies over winter”, according to the document.

France had since 1981 been a net exporter of electricity to its neighbours because of its nuclear plants. But maintenance issues dogging the plants have left France at risk of power cuts in case of an extremely cold winter.

The two leaders also affirmed their countries’ commitment to backing Ukraine “to the end of” its conflict with invaders Russia.