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Uli Hoeneß is thought to have hidden millions of euros in Switzerland, safely out of sight of the German tax man. If he is proven guilty, the football legend will no longer be able to lead FC Bayern Munich as he has, comments ZEIT ONLINE's Oliver Fritsch.

He's skipped the last match against Hannover, but on Tuesday Uli Hoeneß will be in the stadium to watch Bayern face FC Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals. The very fact that his presence at such an important match would be questioned at all shows the dimensions of the tax evasion scandal enveloping Hoeneß.

The FC Bayern president has turned himself in for dodging taxes and paid an advanced fine payment running into millions of euros, according to Focusmagazine, the publisher of which sits on the football club's governing board.

Authorities are thought to have searched his lakeside house at Bavaria's scenic Tegernsee - despite the fact he turned himself in, which appears just as unusual as the fact that his admission had been leaked to the public.

The rumour circulating at the weekend that Hoeneß had stashed away a sum of more than €500 million has more or less been debunked. But we can be more certain that the Bayern boss failed to declare a seven figure sum in interest profits.

Still, Hoeneß has a good chance of getting off because he turned himself in. But the case isn't only a matter for the courts - it concerns the most important and powerful man in German football for the past two decades. 

Duties, discipline, business ethics

Hoeneß may occasionally fight with dirty methods, like with the secret marketing rights deal he made in 2003 (in which an undeclared six figure sum was transferred from KirchMedia into the club's funds). But even for many critics, Hoeneß appears to be a moral and honest man.

Hoeneß always put great importance in morals, they were his instrument. He wanted to be more than a football club chairman, he chatted on talk shows and at business conferences all about social duty, discipline and business ethics. 

He used his credibility to advertise for financial products. Many people wanted Hoeneß to go into politics, he was a kind of shadow president for many Germans, and he would even frequently chat with Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Speaking to TV talk show host Günther Jauch about the possibility of raising taxes, he recently said: "We'll get nothing out of it! At the end the rich will go to Austria and to Switzerland." He also said "Drinking wine and preaching water, that won't get us very far."

This was the style with which he has led his club, and both became famous. Hoeneß was FC Bayern, FC Bayern was Hoeneß. The private man is hard to separate from the president. He stood for steady, solid finances.

He distances himself just as much from the turbo capitalism of the Russians and Arabs in English and French football as from the wasteful extravagance of the Spanish or Italian clubs. He's a man with a long way to fall.

How far the well-meaning patriarch now descends remains to be seen. Hoeneß wants to continue to lead Bayern at least. He is not thinking about stepping down, he told Sport Bild. But he won't be able to lead in the same style as before, as a champion of conservative values, as a squeaky-clean role model. 

It might suddenly become more difficult for him to criticise FIFA president Joseph Blatter's "pigsty." He might find himself on slightly less solid ground when he demands that UEFA president Michel Platini punish those who contravene the organization's Financial Fairplay regulations. 

And in the debate about sharing out TV revenue, some of his Bundesliga competitors, at least the squeaky-clean ones, can always remind him of a certain Swiss account.

This commentary was published with the kind permission of ZEIT ONLINE, where it originally appeared in German. Translation by The Local.

 

The Bundesbank started issuing a new €5 note on Thursday which will gradually replace the bill that has been in circulation since the introduction of the single currency in 2002.

The older, grey note - the euro zone's smallest both in size and value - is to be replaced gradually with the new design which has upgraded security and better protection against wear and tear.

The €5 is the first of the euro notes to have a makeover since the common currency was introduced over a decade ago.

New features include several appearances of the female Greek mythological figure Europa in the note's watermark and hologram, and a shiny iridescent "5" on the front which appears to change from dark green to navy blue when the note is bent.

Designers have also covered the new version with a protective glossy layer in a bid to improve the frequently-exchanged note's lifespan, which at the moment is usually less than a year. An average €20 note, meanwhile, lasts two years and a €50 note up to four years.

The Bundesbank said on Thursday there was not yet a time limit on using the older notes, which would retain their validity for now.

Consumers would be able to exchange old notes at national central banks in all 17 countries in the eurozone when they cease to be legal tender, said the bank.

"The point at which the bank notes from the first [euro] series cease to be legal tender will be announced well in advance," said a Bundesbank spokesman.

Unlike euro coins, which bear landmarks from their country of origin, euro bank notes are the same wherever they are printed across the eurozone.

Designers chose originally to cover the notes with fantasy buildings representing Europe's many historical architectural styles, and the new €5 note retains its stylised example of classical architecture.

A new €10 note is currently in the pipeline and will be introduced next year, whereas a new €20 is scheduled for 2015.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The assets of German households have more than doubled since 1992. However, only ten percent of the population shares half of it, the bottom half has only one percent - and the state will be poorer.

  • The private wealth in Germany is getting bigger, the assets of the state, however smaller. At the same time, the richest are getting richer. The walk out of the draft produced for the fourth poverty and wealth report of the federal government, reports the "Süddeutsche Zeitung"

List of the 20 richest Germans:

Rank

Name

Assets in billions of euro

Company shares

001.

Karl Albrecht

15,60

Aldi Süd

002.

Theo Albrecht

15,10

Aldi Nord

003.

Susanne Klatten

07,80

BMW, Altana

004.

Reinhard Mohn

06,50

Bertelsmann

005.

Werner und Michael Otto

05,50

Otto-Versand

006.

Friedrich Karl Flick

05,50

Flick-Holding

007.

Ingeburg Herz

05,10

Tchibo

008.

Reinhold Würth

05,05

Würth-Gruppe

009.

Stefan Quandt

04,55

BMW

010.

Curt Engelhorn

04,50

Roche / ehem. Boehringer Mannheim

011.

Günter und Daniela Herz

04,45

Mayfair Vermögensverwaltung

012.

Michael und Reiner Schmidt-Ruthenbeck

04,20

Metro-Gruppe

013.

Otto Beisheim

04,20

Metro-Gruppe

014.

Familie Haub

04,15

Tengelmann-Gruppe

015.

Familie Reimann

04,10

Reckitt Benckiser, Slough

016.

Joha

Compiled By Maame Burmeister

nna Quandt

04,00

BMW

017.

Heinz Bauer

04,00

Bauer Verlagsgruppe

018.

Familie von Holtzbrinck

03,90

Verlagsgruppe Holtzbrinck

019.

Hasso Plattner

03,70

SAP

020.

Familie Braun

             03,65

B. Braun

Quelle:www.Wikipedia.de

Quelle:www.Focus.de

 

Germany's intelligence service is taking the escalating cyber threat increasingly seriously and now hopes to entice a horde of hackers to defend against foreign IT attacks, it emerged on Sunday.

Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is planning to set up a new department exclusively dedicated to fending off the growing number of cyber attacks on government agencies and industry, wrote Der Spiegel magazine, citing government sources.

The agency is now frantically searching for up to 130 new employees to man the cyber defence station. The BND had hoped to win over hackers and anti-virus experts with high salaries, but recruitment is proving difficult, and they are now scouring the country's universities for suitable candidates.

The move is in response to a sharp escalation in cyber warfare, also a growing concern in the US. In recent months German intelligence services recorded up to five attacks a day on government authorities alone, BND head Gerhard Schindler recently told MPs, said the magazine.

Schindler warned politicians the threat from the attacks, thought mainly to originate in China, was very real. The government is concerned that without adequate defence systems, foreign hackers would be in a position to paralyse industry, infrastructure, communications and government processes.

Although the attackers had so far only accessed data, Schindler warned that the stolen information could be used as the basis of future sabotage attacks against arms manufacturers, telecommunications companies and government and military agencies.

The Local/jlb

The Government in Hamburg is working towards encouraging African adults and youths to join the Police Force.

The Integrationbeirat of the Hamburg Senate organized an event on the 19th of April to help those interested “penetrate” this field and if possible get an Ausbildung(Training) or study to become a Police Officer.

With all the brutalities many foreigners (especially Africans) face in the hands of the police, the Hamburg government hopes having more Africans in the Force will reduce the victimization and increase diversity.

Mkenyau Jerumani

 

 

A Munich woman who could not afford to bury her mother spent eight months sleeping next to her decomposing corpse, which she kept on a sofa bed in her bedroom, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The gruesome find came about only because the 39-year-old woman's deceased mother, a 70-year-old divorced pensioner, had died leaving outstanding debts, wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday.

When an appraiser from the district court arrived on Thursday at the flat in the Moosach district of Munich to search for objects of value to settle the bill, the woman told him her mother was dead.

Not only that, said the woman, she could prove it – her mother's corpse was still in the flat, as she said she had not been able to afford the funeral costs.

The appraiser notified police, who had to force open the flat door to find the remains of the woman's mother lying on a sofa bed next to where the woman had been sleeping.

Police will now investigate whether the woman, who was taken into psychiatric care at her own request, had been fraudulently claiming her mother's pension. However, investigators told the paper they did not believe this was the motive behind failing to register her mother's death.

Police said the incident was all the more tragic because the woman, who had been living on unemployment benefits, would not have been expected to stump up the funeral costs in any case.

Those unable to pay for the burial of a relative can apply for up to €3200 from the state to cover the cost, wrote the paper.

The Local/jlb

A 19-year-old German woman was left appalled after receiving a letter offering work in a brothel by her local job centre. Good looks, however, were a prerequisite for the position.

The unnamed teen had been looking for work since last November and was thrilled when the job centre finally sent her an offer last week. But serving drinks at a nude bar at one of Bavarian city Augsburg's biggest brothels, the Colosseum, was not exactly what she had in mind.

The trained housekeeper told the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper she was “totally horrified” at the suggestion as was her mother, who screamed after reading about the 42-hour working week, with shifts on mostly evenings and weekends.

Augsburg's job centre told the newspaper that they knew they were offering positions in a brothel but were careful to ring potential applicants to talk about the job before sending a letter, to see if they were suitable and explain the job.

This had not happened in the young woman's case though, which director of the centre Roland Fürst told the newspaper was a mistake. “We would never offer jobs in prostitution,” he stressed, but added that “we knew the establishment was operating in the red light district.”

That the centre had not spoken with the 19-year-old on the phone first was, Fürst said, “something that should not have happened.” He added that “we are very sorry.” Eight other potential brothel employees received phone calls.

After apologising to the woman, the job centre said it would no longer be offering work at the Colosseum and would try to check more carefully the companies who advertise through the state-run office.

The Local/jcw

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