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Lafontaine backs Sodann's call to jail German bankers

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Lafontaine backs Sodann's call to jail German bankers
Photo: DPA
18:04 CEST+02:00
Oskar Lafontaine, the head of the hard-line-socialist Left party, is backing the controversial call by the party's presidential candidate Peter Sodann to jail German bankers like Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann.

Sodann, an actor who once played TV cop, created a storm of controversy last week after saying if he were a real police commissioner he would arrest Ackermann.

The 72-year-old actor, who in May of next year will run against current President Horst Köhler and Social Democratic candidate Gesine Schwan, was also sharply criticized for saying Germany was not a democracy.

But instead of chastising Sodann, Lafontaine called for taking bankers and other executives more accountable for their actions. “Unfortunately our regulations for manager accountability are too modest, and those that we have have never once been implemented,” Lafontaine told the Stuttgarter Zeitung on Monday. “If we had fair laws, some would now have to be put under lock and key.”

Lafontaine said that he found it “refreshing when a former 'Tatort' commissioner is so upset by seeing money gambled away that he judges it to be a criminal offence” and that he “would not only consider Mr. Ackermann to have taken part in this gambling, but also many others as well.”

In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, Ackermann said he was incensed at the suggestion that he was somehow a criminal. “I find it outrageous that someone running for the highest office in a constitutional state would say such a thing,” Ackermann said. “I am beginning to fear for this country.”

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