Berlin (dpa) – SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans has asked the Union to disclose questionable matters of its MPs when purchasing corona masks.
“Any semblance of favoritism is poison to the much-needed confidence of the vast majority in political leadership. Therefore, the inconsistencies in the purchase of masks must be fully clarified, ”said Walter-Borjans in an interview with ntv.de. “The Federal Health Minister, but also the Chancellor, are responsible.”
The leadership of the group of the Union had already strongly condemned the affairs of MPs in the purchase of corona masks on Friday. “Any activity within the scope of the mandate should not be combined with personal financial interests,” Group Chairman Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) and CSU Leader Alexander Dobrindt wrote to all union members.
“We therefore say very clearly that receiving cash benefits for the mediation of medical protective equipment as part of the fight against pandemics by MPs is a complete misunderstanding and is strongly condemned by us.” They expected such matters to be presented and clarified in a completely transparent manner. “Such behavior does not meet our standards, damages the reputation of politics as a whole and is unacceptable.”
The chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, made the group chairman of the Union responsible. “Ralph Brinkhaus has to clear the table right away and explain how many members of his group have earned or tried a golden nose in the crisis,” Bartsch told Funke media group newspapers (online Saturday, print Monday). In addition, the Ministry of Health must “disclose all communications that took place during the pandemic between MPs, industry and the Ministry”.
Bartsch emphasized: “It is indecent that the members of the Union are so greedy and dishonorable as to personally enrich themselves from this crisis. This hurts the country and politics as a whole and destroys further confidence in the federal government’s fight against pandemics. He assessed the abdication of CSU Bundestag member Georg Nüßlein on a renewed candidacy for the Bundestag as a “clear confession”.
Nüßlein’s lawyer announced on Friday that the 51-year-old is withdrawing from federal politics because of the corruption investigations against him. Nüßlein also resigned from the office of Deputy Speaker of the Parliamentary Group of the Union, which he had initially left dormant.
The parliamentarian is under investigation because of the initial suspicion of corruption in connection with the purchase of corona masks. Detectives had therefore searched 13 properties in Germany and Liechtenstein in the past week, including Nüßlein office in the Bundestag and his constituency in Günzburg in Swabia.
It has now become known that more MPs are involved in mask deals. Nikolas Löbel, MP of the Mannheim CDU, also admitted mistakes. According to its own account, Löbel’s company had collected commissions of about 250,000 euros for negotiating mask purchase contracts between a Baden-Württemberg supplier and two private companies in Heidelberg and Mannheim.
This was a “customary fee” for Projektmanagement-GmbH. He acted for the GmbH and not in the exercise of his mandate. But: “As a member of the Bundestag I should have acted more sensitively in my business activities, especially in the specific pandemic situation,” said Löbel on Friday’s request. “I blame myself for this mistake.” As a result, Löbel withdrew from the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.