Daimler ‘shown secret EU papers’

Angela Merkel’s former aide Eckart von Klaeden, who has since joined Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, is under investigation for allegedly showing it papers laying out EU plans for the regulation of automotive emissions

Allegations: Angela Merkel with Eckart von Klaeden. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

Allegations: Angela Merkel with Eckart von Klaeden. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 01:00

A former senior aide to German chancellor Angela Merkel who has since joined Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, is under investigation for allegedly leaking confidential government documents.

According to the German newspaper ‘Der Spiegel’, Eckart von Klaeden, who moved to Daimler as a political lobbyist, may have shown executives at the car company papers laying out the EU’s plans for the regulation of automotive emissions.

It’s the latest in a series of connections between Merkel’s government and Christian Democratic party and the big German carmakers. Recently it emerged that the family that owns a controlling stake in BMW had made a significant contribution to party funds.

That revelation came hot on the heels of a contentious series of meetings about future vehicle carbon-dioxide limits, at which Germany was alleged to have bullied other nations into accepting a watered-down proposal that would allow the production of higher-emissions vehicles to continue for longer.

The Berlin prosecutors’ office has confirmed that it is investigating the circumstances surrounding this issue but has declined to name any specific people it is targeting. Last week Daimler said: “It’s a completely normal procedure that prosecutors start investigations because an anonymous complaint was filed. We have no doubts at all about the integrity of Mr Klaeden.”

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