Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 16 April 2004

Surely he can't have thought this was acceptable?

The President of the Bundesbank (central bank of Germany), Ernst Welteke, has been forced to resign having been found after an investigation to have accepted a pecuniary benefit from Dresdner Bank, a German bank which comes under the regulatory control of the Bundesbank.

Apparently Herr Welteke and his family accepted payment from Dresdner for their stay at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin during celebrations to mark the first year of the Euro as a cash currency. It seems the Adlon Hotel is amongst Berlin's most prestigious and the pecuniary benefit amounted to EUR7,600 (GBP5,000).

One imagines that it would have been normal for Herr Welteke's stay at this or another equally prestigious Berlin hotel to have been paid for by the Bundesbank (hence the German taxpayer), but it is possible that Germany would not normally cover such a bill for his wife, and almost certainly not for other family members. It seems quite extraordinary to me that his judgement could have led him to believe that accepting such a payment from a company which he regulates was even remotely acceptable, and even more extraordinary that he can have assumed it would not be leaked or 'sleuthed' by some enterprising investigator.

I assume Herr Welteke is a well-paid man. A career is ruined for what must surely be to him a relatively small amount.

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