Former chair of the Social Democrats (SPD) and ex-Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, was appointed by Deutsche Bank on Friday (24 January) to join its board of directors. His nomination will be put to a vote during the Annual General Meeting on 20 May.
While the nomination is perfectly legal, as it comes after the legally mandated waiting period of 18 months after leaving office, many, including within his own party, have condemned the move, as well as the role of lobbying in politics.
Cansel Kiziltepe, the deputy spokesperson for financial policy for the SPD parliamentary group, did not mince her words.
She told Der Spiegel that “Sigmar Gabriel is not a banking expert. He was apparently appointed to the supervisory board so that his political contacts would benefit Deutsche Bank…A former leader of the SPD shouldn’t do this. He damages the credibility of the SPD.”
Over the weekend, Gabriel publicly defended himself in an interview with the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, claiming that he will not act any differently than he has before.
(Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)