After her conservatives received major donations from the family that controls BMW, just as Berlin was lobbying against tougher EU caps on carbon emissions, German opposition parties accused Angela Merkel of siding with the car lobbyists.
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% of BMW.
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.
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”. 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.
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.”
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.
) - Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 - filed under BMW
. Image credit: .
Discuss: BMW family makes donation to Chancellor Merkel’s party