• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Steinbrück drops jobs but won't publish income

The Local · 2 Oct 2012, 09:47

Published: 02 Oct 2012 09:47 GMT+02:00

The 65-year-old Social Democrat (SPD) challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Steinbrück was one of the best earners in parliament, the Frankfurter Rundschau said on Tuesday.

His parliamentary website states that, from paid speeches to banks, companies and insurance firms, the former finance minister has been earning well over €500,000 since 2009.

Steinbrück was chosen by the SPD to lead the election campaign against Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union last week. The decision was made earlier than planned after pressure increased from the regions for a choice between a trio of SPD leaders to be made.

Horst Seehofer, Bavarian state premier and head of Merkel’s sister party the Christian Social Union, called for Steinbrück to be transparent with his personal finances if that is what he demands from banks.

Steinbrück said he would not publish his income statements. “It is nobody’s business how much I donate from the fees,” he said.

Ulrich Maurer, deputy leader of the far left Linke parliamentary fraction called on Tuesday for a law to force Steinbrück to open his accounts to the public.

Someone who is paid more than €7,000 several times for a speech is hardly paid for those efforts, he told the Leipziger Volkszeitung. He said only Steinbrück and the tax office knew at the moment who paid him how much and for what.

Yet Steinbrück said he had always carefully registered and paid tax on his income - publishing what needed to be published according to parliamentary rules.

The one seat Steinbrück said he was not going to give up while fighting to become Germany’s leader was his seat on the supervisory board of Borussia Dortmund football club, which he said presented no conflict of interest.

Yet he said on Monday evening he was sorry that in 2006, while finance minister, he appealed to companies owned by the state to contribute millions of euros for a private chess tournament. Speaking on public broadcaster ARD, he said, “From today’s standpoint, I would not do it again. But at that time I did not have the impression that it was dubious or dishonourable.”

Story continues below…

He also said he could not step away from the raising of pension age from 65 to 67, despite the criticism of trade unions and left-wingers. “We will not be able to avoid the pressure from demographics... And in order to secure the financial basis of the social insurance system, we will need such changes,” he said.

The Local/DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

01:39 October 3, 2012 by herr_james
at least he was telling the truth about a humorous election campaign
Today's headlines
TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,591
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd