In Germany, a scandal broke out after the purchase of masks from the Swiss company Emix at a price of almost €10 per piece. The daughter of the former General Secretary of the Christian Social Union (CSU) is involved in the deal.
On May 7, the Suddeutsche Zeitung, together with the public media companies WDR and NDR, reported that the German authorities bought Chinese-made KN95 protective masks from Emix for €670 million. The contract was one of the largest during the coronavirus pandemic.
The journalists found out that the Ministries of Health of Germany and its two lands — Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia-were responsible for the purchase. At the same time, the latter agency said that the masks offered by the Swiss were the most expensive (€9.9 per piece) during the period of emergency purchases.
The daughter of former CSU Secretary-General Gerold Tandler, Andrea, was involved in the deal. The woman and her PR company Little Penguin received a commission of 5 to 7.5%, that is, several tens of millions of euros. Andrea Tandler and her lawyer did not respond to a request from reporters. And Emix stressed that the daughter of the former CSU Secretary-General was “not just an intermediary, but coordinated all logistics tasks with the ministries that signed contracts in Germany.”
Ferrari and Bentley for mask money
The co-owners of Emix, presumably, received after the transaction from €130 to 200 million each. They used the proceeds to buy Ferrari and Bentley cars, the newspaper said.
The businessmen themselves called these expenses “mistakes”. At the same time, they assured that Emix always concluded contracts “within the current market price”.
The reaction of the left
Germany’s left-wing party has called on the authorities to clarify the circumstances of a major deal to buy medical masks, Deutsche Welle reported. According to the chairman of the left faction in the German Bundestag, Fabio de Masi, the commission received by Andrea Tandler and her company should be fully transferred to the federal budget. Mazi also demanded that the chancellor candidate from the ruling CDU/CSU bloc, Armin Laschet, and the current CSU chairman, Markus Zeder, put pressure on Tandler.
Earlier, in February, another scandal broke out with the purchase of masks, in which German politicians were involved. The CDU/CSU deputies Nicolas Lebel and the deputy chairman of the faction Georg Nyuslein acted as intermediaries in the purchase of protective masks and received six-figure sums as commissions for this. As a result, both politicians left their parties. In addition, Lebel refused the deputy mandate, and Nyuslein said that he would not stand as a candidate in the upcoming elections to the Bundestag.