Berlin / Essen (AP) – CDU General Secretary Laurenz Meyer must continue to fear for press office after his office. Relying on circles of the Union leadership reported the “Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung” on Tuesday, a fall of Meyer will continue to be considered possible, even if CDU leader Angela Merkel had put on Monday behind him. The matter could “go until Wednesday or Thursday on the stage”. Unity is that not yet the Christmas holidays should be charged with the topic.
Especially at the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU base caused Meyer’s whereabouts in office for displeasure. “The spearhead secretary-general has become pretty dull,” said the managing director of the CDU council faction in the city council of Dortmund, Manfred Jostes. At the base, the criticism prevails. Negative effects on the state election campaign are to be feared. “The talk of belt-tight buckles and privileges such as right of return with simultaneous severance pay do not match.” It would be difficult to convey this to the citizen.
The Cologne CDU candidate for the 2005 state election, Franz-Josef Knieps, criticized the proceedings. “I hope the topic will be settled soon, everything has to happen that is quiet in NRW.” Knieps had prevailed a week ago in a spectacular combat vote against the state parliament member Richard Blömer on the CDU list. Against Blömer determined the public prosecutor’s office in a party donation procedure.
Express demands for a resignation or a replacement Meyers were raised only behind closed doors. Landesparteichef Jürgen Rüttgers also wanted to express no more. “Mr. Rüttgers has said everything,” said his spokesman only. The Bundesparteivize, which is also the top candidate for the state election in May, had stated that the events surrounding Meyer were difficult to campaign for. The 56-year-old Meyer comes from NRW. The Bielefeld CDU district chairman Marcus Kleinkes holds resignation calls for completely missed. Meyer got money as an RWE employee and became corrupt because of the payments, he told the dpa.
Meyer does not see itself as a burden for the NRW election campaign. On ZDF he said on Monday evening, he would work with full force for “that finally comes after 40 years, the change and Jürgen Rüttgers Prime Minister”. That would certainly appreciate Rüttgers. At the same time he acknowledged mistakes. “I would not do that anymore today,” Meyer said when asked why he put the cards on the table so late.
In the statement, Meyer stated that it had received a total of 250,000 marks (127,822 euros) from the RWE Group in connection with a severance payment agreement in 1999 and in July 2000. RWE confirmed the information on Tuesday.
The Dusseldorf SPD parliamentary group wants to draw conclusions from the affair Meyer and make provision in the parliament against similar cases. In a letter to the President and all parliamentary groups in Parliament, SPD leader Edgar Moron called for more transparency in the exercise of his mandate and profession. A model of a common regulation could be the Ministerial Commission in NRW. It obliges all members of the Cabinet to disclose income and assets annually.
According to information from the “Financial Times Deutschland”, the energy group RWE now has a list of around 40 politicians who are said to have received at least indirect salary payments from the Group. The RWE spokesman described the report as speculation. There are only cases Meyer and the former CDA chairman Hermann Josef Arentz. Arentz has recently dropped over 60,000 euros in annual payments and free electricity without labor.
According to an RWE estimate, at least 200 politicians working in the Group in Germany with all their holdings work predominantly on a voluntary basis at local level. The Essen-based power company is also feverishly seeking the owners of Meyer’s sumptuous purchases.