That’s right, MPs have to prove they didn’t profit from face mask sales as Merkel tries to tidy mask scandal mess
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc must declare on Friday if they have not profited from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ultimatum was issued after further revelations emerged in Germany’s face mask procurement scandal, causing more embarrassment ahead of regional votes on Sunday.
The ruling CDU/CSU alliance, which is also facing criticism over the slow rollout of the vaccine program, sought to clean house ahead of Sunday votes in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
The bloc has demanded that all lawmakers declare they have not profited from consulting or procurement activities linked to the coronavirus pandemic by 6 p.m. (1700 UTC/GMT) on Friday. Details of the audit have not yet been realised.
Senior CDU lawmaker Gitta Connemann said the alliance was facing its “biggest crisis” since a 1990s slush-fund controversy that badly dented the reputation of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
What is the face mask scandal?
The scandal made headlines this week when Christian Democrat (CDU) lawmaker Nikolas Löbel quit his seat. His colleague Georg Nüsslein from the Bavarian sister party CSU had earlier stepped down.
Both faced accusations that they had received payments for brokering face mask procurement deals.
Nüsslein was last month placed under investigation for corruption after it was alleged that he accepted some €600,000 ($715,000) to lobby for a mask supplier.
Löbel’s company made €250,000 in commissions for acting as an intermediary in mask contracts.
A third lawmaker, Mark Hauptmann, gave up his seat on Thursday — partly in connection with the mask scandal.
‘A Poison for democracy,’ says German president
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday said the idea of German lawmakers enriching themselves on deals to procure coronavirus protective masks was “shameful.”
Steinmeier said the case went far further than individual misconduct, referring to it as “poison for democracy.”
“It’s not just about trusting the integrity of individuals – it’s about trusting the integrity of the state and its institutions,” said Steinmeier, who is Germany’s head of state.
The president — a member of the conservatives’ junior coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats — urged all parties represented in the Bundestag to “clarify not only quickly, but above all reliably, whether further cases are to be feared.”
“Anyone who deliberately misuses their mandate in order to enrich themselves personally not only damages others who are honestly doing their democratic work – that harms democracy,” said Steinmeier.
“Anyone who acts like this simply has no business in the Bundestag,” he said.
UK lawmakers should be made to do the same.
In light of the revelations of billions of ponds in public money being given out in contracts that the Hight court have said was unlawful and without due diligence it would only be fitting that a complete audit and declaration be made of where and to whom our money has gone.