Germany aims to agree rules on manager pay soon-Merkel ally
BERLIN, March 12 |
BERLIN, March 12 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition aims to agree new rules on executive pay by the summer which would strengthen shareholders but avoid setting limits, a senior member of her conservatives said on Tuesday.
Michael Grosse-Broemer, parliamentary floor leader of Merkel's conservatives, told reporters the government intended to give shareholders the right to decide on remuneration at annual general meetings.
With Merkel's coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), also open to such rules, the coalition could agree on them next week and they could be passed before parliament's summer recess, which starts in mid-July, he said.
Merkel, facing an election in September, is keen to show voters she can rein in boardroom excess at a time of weak growth in Europe's biggest economy.
Corporate pay has come under attack across Europe. Earlier this month Switzerland voted to impose some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay and the European Commission is working on a proposal for similar rules that would apply to all 27 EU members.
Grosse-Broemer said the aim of the new rules was to make remuneration more transparent and to shift decision-making on salaries and bonuses away from small committees.
"However, we do not want a state-imposed cap, rather (we want) to strengthen the rights of the owners," he said.
The FDP at the weekend backed the idea of giving shareholders more power over rewarding company managers, agreeing that remuneration under certain conditions should be tied to shareholder approval. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke; writing by Madeline Chambers, editing by Gareth Jones)
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