Overshadowed by the job affair in the bavarian state parliament, the CSU will today (friday/18.00) nominate your party leader horst seehofer as top candidate for the state elections. The CSU invited 1500 participants to the event in munich’s postpalast – more than to a party convention. The affair about the employment of relatives mainly affects CSU deputies, including half a dozen cabinet members.
State parliament president barbara stamm (CSU) wants to publish as quickly as possible all names of deputies who still had spouses or children working for them after the law was tightened in 2000. Recently, prominent members of the government came under fire – including justice minister beate merk and agriculture minister helmut brunner, according to a survey of all 187 members of parliament conducted by the bavarian radio station.
CSU secretary general alexander dobrindt defended the course of his party. "We are actively tackling this, drawing the consequences, tightening up the rules and putting a stop to it once and for all", he told the berliner zeitung (friday). The opposition, made up of the SPD, the greens and the free democrats, is using stalling tactics to conceal its own involvement.
When asked, justice minister merk confirmed that from 2010 to 2013 she gave her sister temporary office assignments after a regular employee reduced her working hours due to pregnancy. Agricultural minister brunner announced that he had employed his wife as a deputy from 2000 to 2009, for a maximum of 919 euros net per month.
In all cases, the employment of relatives was permitted under the bavarian deputies act – unlike in the bundestag. Nevertheless, there is a lot of resentment against the practice. CSU faction leader georg schmid resigned last week because he had employed his wife as a secretary and paid her a salary of just under 2,300 euros net for her services.
Secretary of the interior gerhard eck (CSU) explained that he had employed his wife for 20 hours a week in 1998, for an average of 768 euros net. Minister of education ludwig spaenle (CSU) had employed his wife until 2008 for an average of 2041 euros net, since then part-time for 658 euros. The wife of state finance secretary franz pschierer (CSU) worked for her husband from 2000 to 2013, earning an average of 625 euros. State secretary for culture bernd sibler (CSU) hired his mother for a short time at the end of the 1990s when he was a newcomer to parliament, and then his wife for a net salary of 520 euros in 2007.
According to the president of the state parliament, after the tightening of the law in 2000, 78 members of the CSU, SPD, and grunen parties, as well as one non-factional member, made use of the old-case regulation, according to which existing contracts with spouses or children were allowed to continue. The heads of the CSU and SPD parliamentary groups are to talk to all the politicians concerned by noon on friday, when stamm will publish the names.
"If someone objects to it being published, but then I do it anyway, let them sue me", said stamm. Justice minister sabine leutheusser-schnarrenberger (FDP) said she was "stunned" about the "ausmab of self-service" in the CSU, as they "munchner merkur" and "spiegel online" communicated.
Despite the uproar, the CSU can still hope for an absolute majority in the state elections in september.
In the youngest poll for sat.1 bavaria the christian socialists are at 47 percent – one percentage point worse than in the previous poll by the opinion research institute GMS last october. In the new poll, the SPD is at 20 percent, the greens at 13 percent, the free voters at 8 percent. Thus, a possible tripartite alliance still had fewer votes than the CSU alone.