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Europe

Merkel lashes out at bank bonuses

Latest update : 2009-02-16

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) criticised banks for giving out executive bonuses despite taking government funds to help them through the financial crisis, calling for bonuses to be "more clearly linked" to long-term performance.

AFP - German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at banks that have doled out bonuses to executives despite having received government aid to weather the global financial crisis.
   
"It's incomprehensible that, in several cases, banks that have benefited from the support of the state distribute huge bonuses at the same time," Merkel told Der Spiegel magazine in an interview to be published Monday.
   
Bank bonuses will be on the agenda at the meeting of the Group of 20 advanced and developing nations in London in April.
   
"In general, the bonus system, at the international level, must be more clearly linked to the durable performances of banks," the conservative Christian Democrat said in the interview released Saturday.
   
Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat who will challenge Merkel in the elections in September, also criticised bank bonuses.
   
"I am shocked every time with the cynicism of some executives, who lose the sense of reality," Steinmeier, who is also the foreign minister, told De Spiegel.
   
Josef Ackermann, the Swiss chief of Germany's biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, said in October he would forgo his annual bonus of several million euros (dollars) to show solidarity with staff in this time of financial crisis.
   
The economy minister at the time, Michael Glos, urged heads of other financial institutions to follow Ackermann's example.
 

Date created : 2009-02-15

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