• Germany's news in English

Industry chops big political donations

The Local · 2 Jan 2013, 11:07

Published: 02 Jan 2013 11:07 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported this week that just €1.3 million had been given in large donations to Germany's political parties. The laws governing party financing demand that donations of more than €50,000 have to be immediately published.

The biggest recipient of industry generosity was the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, the Christian Social Union, which got €460,000, including donations from the Bavarian association of the metal and electronic industry, and car maker BMW.

Germany's two largest parties, Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the centre-left Social Democratic Party each received €260,000 in big chunks during the year, the figures showed.

Junior government coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party, generally described as a friend of business, punched above its electoral weight, receiving €205,000 in large donations. The Greens did not get any donations of more than €50,000, while the Marxist-Leninist Party reported a donation of €115,000 from a couple in Wilhelmshaven.

Generally large donations increase rise sharply in election years, with 2009 seeing around €6 million handed over to the political parties ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's re-election.

The following year saw €3.8 million in large donations, a figure which shrank to €2 million in 2011. The continued drop to 2012's €1.3 million could be a result of the critical debate about lobbying, the Berliner Zeitung said. It also suggested that large donations were being split up into smaller chunks to circumvent the immediate publication rule.

One notable change in the large donations section was the almost complete absence of the finance industry, the Berliner Zeitung said. The Allianz Group which has traditionally given €50,000 to each of the CDU, SPD, CSU, Greens and FDP, reduced its donations to €30,000 for each party but insisted this be published straight away, the paper said.

Corruption watchdog Transparency International has long called for the €50,000 immediate publication trigger to be reduced to €10,000.

Story continues below…

German parties raise money from party members as well as donations - and get a certain amount of state support relating to their share of votes.

The Local/hc

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