Coalition wants an executive salary cap in Germany

The conservative German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) wants to cap salaries of top business leaders, joining the Social Democratic Party (SPD) with which it governs the country, German Handelsblatt daily said on Monday.

“The fact that remuneration must correspond to the true value of performance constitutes an essential element of the social market economy,” CDU financial expert Otto Bernhard told the paper.

The CDU wants to present a common proposal with the SPD on the question in late September, the newspaper said.

The Social Democrats have already proposed a series of measures, including one to limit tax deductions to €1 million ($1.56 million).

A government spokesman said later at a press conference that it sought to “reach agreement by the end of the year” on a series of rules concerning the issue.

He added that Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed a “certain scepticism” about the possibility of controlling executive pay through legislation. The amount of pay earned by top business leaders has become a controversial issue, especially among politicians, in a country that does not have a general minimum wage.

Wendelin Wiedeking, head of the car maker Porsche is the highest paid German boss, with €60 million in earnings last year.


Germany’s centre-right CDU to elect new leadership by end of the year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party will elect its new leadership by the year's end, general secretary Paul Ziemiak said Monday, detailing plans for a clean slate after a disastrous election that the party lost to the Social Democrats.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and CDU leader Armin Laschet on the election campaign trail in Aachen before the election.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and CDU leader Armin Laschet on the election campaign trail in Aachen before the election. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Federico Gambarini

In power for 16 years under Merkel, the Christian Democratic Union is grappling with its deepest crisis in decades after turning in a historic low score in September’s election.

Its leader Armin Laschet last week signalled his readiness to step aside, setting the ball rolling for renewal at the top.

READ ALSO: Laschet signals he’s ready to step down as CDU leader

Ziemiak said a date for the congress to determine the new makeup of the party’s top brass as well as how rank and file members can participate in the leadership selection process will be announced on November 2nd.

But the party’s leaders “today agreed unanimously that we will elect a completely new executive board,” he said, adding that in terms of the calendar, the “window for this is year’s end”.

Bild daily had reported that the party has made a tentative booking for December 6th-13th in Dresden for its possible congress.

READ ALSO: Germany edges a step closer to a government led by Social Democrats

Laschet, who is state premier of Germany’s most populous region North Rhine-Westphalia, was elected head of the CDU in January.

For some time, he was the clear favourite to succeed Merkel, who is bowing out of politics after running four consecutive coalitions.

But his party’s ratings began to slide as he committed a series of gaffes, including being caught on camera laughing in the background during a solemn tribute to flood victims.

With the CDU’s ratings plunging, Merkel tried to boost Laschet’s campaign with joint appearances, but was unable to help the conservatives pull off a win on election day.