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Germany

Controversy Over Politicians' Corporate Pay

Debate is raging in Germany over politicians who are on company payrolls after it emerged that a senior official of the opposition Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) is allegedly receiving a substantial salary from Dresdner Bank. In its Friday edition, daily Die Welt published a list of parliamentarians receiving monthly allowances by major companies such as insurance giant Allianz or the energy supplier Vattenfall. The German press focussed this week primarily on CDU politician Hildegard Müller, a close aide of opposition leader Angela Merkel, who newspapers say continues to receive a salary from Dresdner Bank. German carmaker Volkswagen plans to publish a list of employees on its payrolls who also hold a political office, including two Social Democrat politicians in the regional state parliament of Lower Saxony. CDU secretary general Laurenz Meyer stepped down shortly before Christmas after it emerged he had allegedly received substantial payouts from energy giant RWE, as well as discounts on his electricity bills and a low-interest loan. Head of the Bundestag or lower house of parliament, Wolfgang Thierse, has called for a debate about the rules regarding politicians' corporate pay.

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