Bavaria nepotism scandal: 79 MPs named
A smouldering row over politicians employing relatives in well-paid assistant roles burst into a full-blown nepotism scandal on Friday, when the head of Bavaria's state parliament named and shamed 79 MPs.
The scale of the nepotism scandal engulfing the Bavarian government ballooned on Friday afternoon when president of the regional parliament Barbara Stamm ignored voices of protest and published a list of guilty parties.
The 79 members of parliament - including six of the 11 cabinet ministers - were identified by Stamm as having employed spouses, children or parents as their assistants.
Those politicians are overwhelmingly from the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.
Stamm, also a CSU member, said she had defied the wishes of her colleagues to publish the names - but would not reveal how much they had been paying their relatives.
"If anyone is against being published [on the list], and I do it anyway, then he should sue me," she said. At the same time, she added, each case should be judged individually. "We can't throw everyone into the same pot."
Those on the list are said to have taken on family members after the regional law was altered in 2000 to forbid MPs from making new contracts to employ immediate relatives.
However, a clause in the law meant that existing contracts would be excluded, a loophole the politicians on the list exploited in their favour.
"Such a long transition period would never be put in place today," said Stamm, and added that a complete ban on employing relatives would be in place by July.
Meanwhile CSU General Secretary Alexander Dobrindt defended his party's reaction to the scandal and rejected calls from the opposition Social Democrats for the cabinet members involved to step down.
"We're dealing with it actively, taking the consequences, tightening the rules and putting a stop to it once and for all," he said on Friday.
The Bavarian state election is scheduled for September 15th, a week before the general election.