Family Ties Played ″No Role″ in Merkel Podcast Contract | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 11.08.2006
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Germany

Family Ties Played "No Role" in Merkel Podcast Contract

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's weekly podcasts will be handled by a production company in future. And it just so happens that the company employs the son-in-law of Merkel's political partner, Edmund Stoiber.

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Merkel began posting weekly podcasts in June

The German government held a competition involving 18 production companies to determine which would be selected for the high-profile job of producing Merkel's weekly video messages explaining government policies to the nation.

The winning company is the Munich-based firm Evisco. According to a government spokesperson, it came out ahead of the competition because it offered the best value for money.

But eyebrows were raised when the decision was announced, because one of Evisco's directors is Jürgen Hausmann, the son-in-law of Merkel's political cohort, Edmund Stoiber.

Stoiber, the premier of Bavaria, also heads the Christian Social Union (CSU) -- the sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Sondierungsgespräch SPD und Union - Merkel und Stoiber

Stoiber and Merkel are close political allies

"Relationships did not play a role in the awarding of the contract," Hausmann told the Augsburger Allgemeinen newspaper. "We won the contract based on our performance and fair price."

The Financial Times Deutschland reported that the contract to produce the podcasts until the end of the year is worth 40,000 euros ($51,000).

The company that had been producing Merkel's weekly videos since the beginning of June reportedly wanted more money to continue the job.

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