• Germany's news in English

Pensions promise provokes SPD disagreement

DDP/The Local · 11 Jul 2009, 11:05

Published: 11 Jul 2009 11:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

His comments have been taken to reveal dissent within his Social Democratic Party (SPD), less than two months before the election.

Steinbrück told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, “I have serious doubts whether that [law] sends the right signal to the next generation.”

Steinbrück’s party colleague, Labour Minister Olaf Scholz made the initial pensions promise in April and the relevant law was passed last month, with the pensions rate promise confirmed by the upper house of parliament on Friday.

The current generation of pensioners are doing, “better than ever before,” said Steinbrück. He said that others are worrying about the security of their jobs, while, “during the crisis, pensions are rising as they haven’t done for three or four years.”

The SPD, which sees itself as Germany's party of social justice, scrambled to try to ensure his comments were not taken as a threat to the pensions promise – nor taken badly by older voters.

Steinbrück said was not challenging the pensions guarantee, but said, “Those who are pinched are the 25- to 35-year-olds who want to start families. We must take more care of this generation.”

Scholz’ office said that the pension promise was passed unanimously by the cabinet, and added that Steinbrück’s comments were not being taken as criticism.

The promise was not likely to be necessary anyhow, a spokesman said, as there was no reason to think that wage levels were likely to go down.

Story continues below…

Steinbrück’s spokesman later added that he was not distancing himself from pensions promise but had wanted to point out the burden it could place on the younger generation.

Christian Democratic pension expert Jen Spahn, who had opposed the pensions promise when it was first made, said he welcomed Steinbrück’s comments. “I only have wish they had been made earlier and louder and in the cabinet meeting,” he said.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd