Some 12 months prior to the next German national election in fall 2013, the Social-Democratic big brains in Berlin have lauded Peer Steinbrueck's frontrunner job for Germany's next chancellor by extraordinary hype. Now, after some days of their cheering and celebrating the former NRW governor and former federal minister of the treasury, some left-wing SPD 'comrades' are getting nervous, perhaps even envious of Steinbrueck's speech royalties he garnered this year - estimates range from 600k to 1.000k euros.
Parliamentary "transparancy" regulations require publication of moonlighting income in levels, level 1 single or repetitive monthly extra income between 1.000 to 3.500 euros ($1.300 to $4.550) - level 2 exceeding €3.500 up to €7.000 ($9.100) - level 3 exceeding €7.000.
Steinbrueck was a great 'speech-giver' this year, his declared 'moonlighting revenues' -on single items properly published in accordance with the house rules - were mostly on level 3 - giving vast space for speculation on how much he has earned so far. This is obviously a sore point within own Social-Democratic ranks, esp. within the left-wing 'labor' party faction.
Oh my - the Social-Dems who had earlier hovered in polls between 25 to 30 pc have now gotten "a boost" beyond 31 pc with the announcement that Steinbrueck should be their frontrunner and leading them to a left-of-center, red-green coalition of Social-Dems and Eco-Greens.
Sometimes you get the impression that Social-Democrats love self-mutilation. What is the fuss all about? The SPD got a successful tough guy as candidate for the chancellery who is able to cause heavy political headaches on Merkel.
Are the SPD lefties going to make a self-destructive debate on this money-making issue?
Well, the current transparency rules are 'home-made' - agreed upon with extremely wide political margins 'across the aisles' by the members of parliament.
If more transparency is needed, what's the problem then? - Change the rules and make full financial disclosure to the public.
What the Social-Dems are needing now is a solid front behind Peer Steinbrueck. I bet he is a good taxpayer on his extra revenue he has been making so far.
In terms of tax-dodging to Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Singapore or other 'off-shore' tax havens, he is a hardline "taxman". In terms of austerity measures, he is an expert as well.
Now, c'mon tell me why should his financial success be an obstacle then? Do the leftists consider him greedy?
I guess so - but one shouldn't care less about this stupid thinking.