Mask affair: CSU politician Nüßlein leaves union faction | Free press


Munich (dpa) – The CSU member of the Bundestag Georg Nüßlein has declared his departure from the union faction with immediate effect. He wants to keep his office in the Bundestag until the end of the election period, as Nüßlein announced in a personal statement from his lawyer.

For the withdrawal of Nüßlein, which had already been announced, CDU parliamentarian Nikolas Löbel also ended his political career for the time being. The 34-year-old announced that he would resign from the Bundestag at the end of August and will no longer run for the next Bundestag. At the same time, he immediately ends his membership of the CDU / CSU faction. Löbel admitted to having violated the demands on his offices. “I would like to apologize for this to all citizens of this country.”

The cases about the profits of MPs in the purchase of corona masks put the Union under pressure. A week before the state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate and in the midst of the public discussion about the Corona’s outage, the party got into difficult waters.

For the first time since late March last year, the CDU and CSU have fallen in the “Sunday trend” of “Bild am Sonntag” by another two percentage points to 32 percent, below their federal election result of 32.9 percent. The SPD received 16 percent of the Kantar Institute’s weekly poll on behalf of the newspaper and remained unchanged, as did the Left (9 percent). The Greens (19), the AfD (10) and the FDP (9) each won one point.

Löbel admitted to participating in controversial cases with corona protective masks on Friday. Löbel’s company received commissions of around 250,000 euros for negotiating mask purchase contracts between a supplier from Baden-Württemberg and two private companies in Heidelberg and Mannheim. In a first step, Löbel had only withdrawn from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. That was not enough for his critics. The general secretary of the CDU of Löbels Landesverband Baden-Württemberg, Manuel Hagel, had thundered: “Those who claim their own wallets with essential goods such as masks do not represent the people, but the lowest interests.”

The chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, criticized the fact that Löbel had only given up his mandate in the Bundestag at the end of August. «Resigning from the Bundestag’s mandate within six months obviously has to do with pension entitlements. Still a benefit optimizer, ”he wrote on Twitter. The pension benefit for Bundestag members increases with each membership year by 2.5 percent of the monthly allowance for Bundestag members (currently EUR 10,083.47), which would be EUR 252. The new parliament will be elected in September.

Before Löbel, the Union’s previous parliamentary deputy, Nüßlein, was at the center of the mask affair. The CSU politician is under investigation for initial suspicion of corruption in connection with the purchase of masks. Nüßlein’s lawyer announced on Friday that the 51-year-old would be withdrawing from federal politics due to the corruption investigations against him. Nüßlein also resigned from the office of Deputy Chief of the Parliamentary Group of the Union, which he had initially left. However, his attorney dismissed the allegations.

Two other CDU MPs had recently made negative headlines. Bundestag CDU member Axel Fischer is under investigation for initial suspicion of corruption. After the Bundestag lifted the 54-year-old’s immunity from MPs, federal investigators on Thursday searched six properties in Berlin and Baden-Württemberg, including the Bundestag’s office, apartments and commercial buildings, the Munich prosecution said. Fischer described the allegations against him in the “Augsburger Allgemeine” as “unfounded”.

This was preceded by extensive investigative measures against former and active members of the Bundestag who had belonged to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). “You are accused of receiving money from, among others, Azerbaijan between 2008 and 2016 through British letterbox companies with Baltic accounts,” the prosecution said. “Linked to this was the request to influence the interests of representatives of the state of Azerbaijan in motions and votes on various resolutions and in the performance of functions and committees of the Council of Europe.”

A very different case: the CDU member of the Bundestag, Philipp Amthor, who has meanwhile stepped up a notch politically after a lobbying affair, is once again at the forefront. The representative assembly of the CDU of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania voted Amthor on Saturday by a large majority as number 1 on the state list for the federal elections on September 26. Amthor received 130 yes votes. 147 party members were present, 14 voted no, 3 voted no. Amthor had been heavily criticized for campaigning for an American company for which he was given stock options.