• Germany's news in English

Government fumes at opposition debate trick

The Local · 15 Jun 2012, 13:41

Published: 15 Jun 2012 13:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In what one politician told the Bild newspaper was a "strategic masterstroke," the Social Democrats (SPD) disrupted voting on the proposals by forcing a Hammelsprung.

This involves all members of parliament leaving the room and whichever door they reenter through signifies their vote. But in a twist, many members of Germany’s main opposition parties the SPD and the Greens staged a boycott by leaving the room and not coming back in.

This left the ruling parties without just 211 of the 310 voters needed to make the parliamentary vote valid and the session was dissolved at just past 11.30 am.

“I think it’s scandalous,” family spokeswoman for the ruling CDU parliamentary group Dorothee Bär told Die Welt on Friday.

The Bundestag German lower house had been voting on a scheme to pay money to parents who keep their young children at home rather than sending them to state-subsidised day care.

The provision has been championed by the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

But critics - including the German opposition parties, international development organisations and the European Commission - believe the money would be better spent investing in expanding the network of day care facilities on offer.

The ruling parties are fuming at the opposition’s trick. Alexander Dobrindt of the conservative CDU called it a “small, dirty piece of foul play” and told the paper it was a “disgrace for democracy.”

Story continues below…

“This unprecedented behaviour based on leftist ideological blindness is not fair to the dignity of parliament, nor is it appropriate to the matter,” Bär told the paper.

The opposition parties are celebrating their success - as it looks unlikely that the benefit proposals can now be decided before the parliament breaks for summer at the end of the month.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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