Controversies have erupted in the Grand Alliance over the consequences of the mask and Azerbaijan cases. The Central Parliamentary Group on Friday presented a complete list of concussions – they concern legislation on Parliament, the Criminal Code, dealing with donations and more. But the SPD does not consider the proposals to be far-reaching enough. The Social Democrats have therefore introduced a bill.
The SPD parliamentary group’s vice president, Durk Wiese, said the central parliamentary group called its proposals “transparently offensive”, sounding “like a bad joke”. Because “very important points” are “nothing more than a fig leaf”. It is now clear once again: “The announcements made by coalition partners are huge after every corruption scandal – but obviously no action should be taken from them.”
The cause of the controversy is the questionable business dealings of previous Union MPs George Newlin (CSU), Nicholas Lobel and Mark Howptmann (both CDUs). Newlin and Lobel are said to have collected six-figure commissions for arranging masks. Houtpman also financed his ad post with advertisements for governance in Azerbaijan.
The Central Parliamentary Group therefore legally forbids MPs to “work paid as a representative of interests to the federal government or to third parties in the Bundestag”. Violations should be fined. In addition, MPs should be obliged to transfer profits from such unauthorized activity to the Bundestag.
The Central Parliamentary Group wants to make the additional income more transparent. Since 100,000 euros, they have to be “designated to the nearest euro and cents”. Donations should be completely banned for members of Parliament, but donations to political parties should not be allowed. The minimum punishment for bribery and corruption of Members of Parliament is to be increased to one year in jail. In addition, the union wants income from the company’s investments to be reported if a member of parliament holds more than 25 percent of the company and consequently has a significant impact on the company. As per the union’s request, the options MPs get as part of a sideline activity should also be published in the future.
The latter is a response to another case of the Union faction. The CDU member of the Bundestag Film Amthor was given stock options for his controversial commitment to the Augustus Intelligence Company. He did not say this, because it is not necessary according to the rules already in force.
The SPDs consider the proposals of the Vice-Vis Union of the Parliamentary Group to be inadequate. “We want the additional income from members of Parliament to be published in the exact amount of zero euros,” said Wiese. The union does not want such a publication for up to 100,000 euros. In addition, the SPD demanded that holdings in companies with more than five percent of voting rights are subject to notification and publication. The union insists on a 25 percent limit.
The SPD wants to reduce the threshold for the publication obligation of the party’s donation to 2,000 euros – so far it has been increased to 10,000 euros. In addition, an annual maximum amount of 100,000 euros per donor is to be introduced. Sponsorship should be regulated in the Political Parties Act. And in future, MPs should also specify the time period of their secondary activities. It is intended to show whether the mandate is indeed still the focus of his work for them – as required by law in Parliament.