News / Europe

    BMW Family Donation to Merkel's Party Stokes Lobbying Row

    FILE - German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel
    FILE - German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel
    Reuters
    German opposition parties on Tuesday accused Angela Merkel of pandering to the car lobby, after her conservatives received major donations from the family that controls BMW, just as Berlin was lobbying against tougher EU caps on carbon emissions.
     
    Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) said the three donations made on October 9 and totalling 690,000 euros “have no connection to any political decisions.”
     
    The funds came days before European Union environment ministers backed German demands to scrap a deal to cap EU car emissions that Berlin had argued would cost jobs and damage its premium auto makers.
     
    The donations came from Johanna Quandt, the widow of industrialist Herbert Quandt who is credited with transforming BMW, and her children, Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten. The family owns almost 47 percent of BMW.
     
    Juergen Trittin, former co-leader of the Greens, wrote on Twitter that the family had “bought Merkel's climate policy on October 9 for 690,000 euros.”
     
    Social Democrat Joachim Poss wrote that the short period between the donation and Merkel's backing for the car industry were “grist to the mill for all those critical of party donations.”
     
    A spokesman for the Quandts said they had decided in January to donate to the CDU but waited until October to transfer the money because they did not want to get involved in campaigning for Germany's September 22 election.
     
    The payments were registered with parliament, as required for all personal donations to parties of more than 50,000 euros.
     
    Carmakers Daimler and BMW produce heavier and relatively less fuel-efficient vehicles, meaning they would find it challenging to meet the proposed cap on carbon emissions of 95 grams per kilometer for all new cars from 2020, analysts say.
     
    The CDU said the Quandt family had supported it with donations for years, regardless of whether they were in government. The three family members had also each given the party 150,000 euros after the 2009 election, which saw Merkel enter a coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
     
    Merkel's conservatives emerged as the dominant force in last month's election but need a partner. They are talking to both the SPD and the Greens, with the former seen as the most likely partner. The Greens are strongly in favor of limiting CO2 emissions to 95 grams per kilometer.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora