Merkel challenger under fire for saying chancellor underpaid
BERLIN (REUTERS) - Chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck was widely criticised on Sunday, even by his own centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), for saying German leaders were underpaid.
Mr Steinbrueck has struggled to gain ground against Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of next September's election, in part due to lingering criticism over him earning 1.25 million euros (S$2.02 million) as an after-dinner speaker in the past three years.
The remarks from the former finance minister about what he called the inadequate compensation for the chancellor drew speedy rebukes across the country's political spectrum, including from the last SPD chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
"A German chancellor does not earn enough based on the performance that is required of her or him compared with the jobs of others who have far less responsibility and far more pay," Mr Steinbrueck, 65, was quoted on Sunday by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper saying.