The affair about mask lobbyists from the Bundestag is expanding: As reported by Der Spiegel, at least two other CDU members of parliament are said to have either demanded commission for brokering protective masks, or are suspected of having lobbied the Federal Ministry of Health for companies from their own constituency and then receiving favors as a result.

Profit

One of the parliamentarians admits to having made a quarter of a million euros from the deals. Several dozen others are also said to have tried to profit from it.

For example, the CDU member of parliament Nikolas Löbel is said to have received a quarter of a million euros in commission. The parliamentarian from Mannheim offered companies from the health sector to provide them with protective masks from a company in Baden-Württemberg in exchange for a commission. In an e-mail in which he introduced himself as a member of parliament, he demanded a commission in the case of a delivery: for each mask purchased through him, “I will receive 0.12 euros plus VAT from the buyer,” Löbel wrote.

Under suspicion: Hans-Jürgen Irmer (l), Nikolas Löbel (m) and Georg Nüßlein. Besides them, other members of parliament are said to be involved in the affair.

Löbel confirmed to the news magazine that he had won a chain of retirement homes and a hospital company as customers, among others. He said his company had raked in “remunerations amounting to around a quarter of a million euros” from the mask sales. “In retrospect, the placements were wrong,” the politician told Der Spiegel. Read here.

Nearly two dozen deputies got into the mask business

In another case, Hans-Jürgen Irmer (CDU), member of the Hessian Bundestag, stood up for Stone Alliance GmbH from his constituency in Wetzlar, which, according to his own information, had delivered masks to the Federal Ministry of Health and was waiting for payment. At the request of the managing director, Irmer wrote to the head of the ministry, Jens Spahn (CDU), “to what extent one can help the company Stone Alliance”, Irmer confirmed at Der Spiegel’s request.

In September 2020, another company of Stone Alliance’s managing director placed an advertisement in the Wetzlar-Kurier. According to the imprint, the newspaper is published by Hans-Jürgen Irmer. The company and Irmer deny that the ad was a quid pro quo for working for Spahn. He writes 500 to 1000 letters a year, Irmer said, and makes sure that “everything is done properly”.

Immunity withdrawal

The two MPs are not the only cases of parliamentarians who have been involved in the mask business. According to the report, almost two dozen of the people’s representatives have lobbied for companies. Except for Löbel, however, they deny having received anything in return. Last week, the Bundestag had lifted the immunity of Georg Nüßlein, vice chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, who was accused of bribery in connection with the procurement of masks.

 


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