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Mask affair: Union wants a «declaration on honor» by Friday | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – The head of the union faction has given the members of the CDU and CSU in the mask affair a Friday night deadline to submit some sort of declaration on parole.

Trade union leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) and CSU party leader Alexander Dobrindt called on the nearly 250 union MPs on Wednesday to declare by 6:00 p.m. on March 12 that they had achieved no financial benefits in connection with the fight against the corona pandemic – either directly or through companies. “The misconduct of individuals should not put an entire parliamentary group in a bad light”, Brinkhaus and Dobrindt justify the action.

The SPD and left-wing factions did not sufficiently report self-declarations and appeals. The FDP welcomed the action of the top of the Union parliamentary group and warned against bias from the whole Union. But she also demanded that the role of Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) should also be addressed.

Brinkhaus and Dobrindt write in the mail that is also available to the German news agency that because of the events surrounding the MPs, Georg Nüßlein (formerly CSU) and Nikolas Löbel (formerly CDU), they consider themselves responsible, “such matters are completely transparent. to present and explain ».

The public prosecutor’s office is investigating Nüßlein because of the initial suspicion of bribery. Löbel has admitted that his company has received approximately $ 250,000 in commissions for brokerage of sales contracts for corona protection masks. The public prosecutor’s office checks whether there is sufficient initial suspicion to start an investigation procedure. Both politicians have since left their respective parties. Löbel resigned from the Bundestag with immediate effect. Nüßlein no longer wants to run to the Bundestag in the autumn.

The top of the union faction specifically mentions in its email which activities are involved in the statement. Financial benefits must therefore not have been obtained by trading medical products such as protective equipment, testing and vaccination requirements, establishing contacts or forwarding offers or questions. Support or advice to third parties for such activities is also mentioned. In general, the item is referred to as “Linking with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The reply email must be given the place, date and signature to go to the parliamentary manager of the parliamentary group of the Union, Michael Grosse-Brömer. Members’ attention is drawn to the fact that the statements “can also be used in response to press inquiries”. If party members are unable to make the statement, they are requested to contact Grosse-Brömer or his CSU colleague Stefan Müller directly.

Brinkhaus and Dobrindt emphasize in the email that as members of parliament you stand up for citizens and local businesses, especially when it comes to fighting pandemics. “This commitment in the sense of concrete improvements for the people is by no means reprehensible, but an original part of the fulfillment of the role of Member of Parliament.” They add, “However, it is equally clear that performing this task should not bring personal or financial benefits.” As a Member of Parliament, you consider yourself a special responsibility for the common good. This is especially true in a crisis such as the current corona pandemic. “

The group had announced strict new rules for Union MPs on Monday. “As a parliamentary group, we will give ourselves a code of conduct that goes far beyond what is legally expected of members of the German Bundestag,” Brinkhaus and Dobrindt wrote to the Union MPs. There should also be more transparency in ancillary activities and a sharply lowered limit for the publication requirement for donations (currently 10,000 euros).

SPD deputy leader Katja Mast criticized that there are too few self-commitments and self-statements. “These statements must also be made public. Otherwise they are worthless. Mast renewed the SPD’s call for structural changes and an even better lobby registry.

The FDP Secretary-General, Volker Wissing, welcomed the handling of the mask affair by the Union parliamentary group. However, this must involve the Federal Ministry of Health and the person of Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). Otherwise there is a risk of further loss of confidence in democracy and state institutions. At the same time, he stressed, “The misconduct of individual members of the Union does not justify prejudice for the party as a whole.”

The leader of the Left Group, Jan Korte, criticized: “Appeals and exhortations will not solve the problem.” The only way to “solve this problem that threatens democracy is to ban paid lobbying by MPs.” The left calls on the other groups to find a common solution quickly.

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