Veritas – Are these the men behind Merkel’s euro stance?

Corporate governance research by Germany’s biggest private shareholder organisation DSW suggests just a handful of people are in charge of the country’s biggest companies, while supplementary information suggests their views may be holding sway over the euro debate at home.

Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz represents some 7,000 investment clubs throughout Germany and is a member of lobbying federation Euroshareholders in Brussels.

As part of its work, DSW took a look at the supervisory boards of DAX30 companies. These are the cream of Germany’s economic power, including well known names such as Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Allianz, Bayer, E.On, Linde, and so on.

The problem, according to the research, is that nobody had linked together persons with mulitple roles across multiple boards of DAX30 companies. By developing a matrix to show this information, DSW came up with a table over what it called  “Germany’s secret leaders

Leading the list are Manfred Schneider, Karl-Hermann Baumann, and Ulrich Hartmann.

Putting these names plus that of Angela Merkel into a search engine such as Google shows that there indeed are links between captains of industry and the German chancellor.

Manfred Schneider, as chairman of energy company RWE earlier this year had to thrash out a response to the Merkel government’s decision to stop nuclear power – a decision taken in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, and an equally disastrous election result for Merkel in the city-state of Bremen.

Yet, further down the list may be even stronger links to Merkel’s CDU party. Jürgen Strube, former CEO of chemicals company BASF, was chased by Merkel back in 2005, according to one report in the Financial Times, as she continued a process initiated by her predecessor Gerhard Schröder to bring about closer ties between business and politics.

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