Job prospects for Merkel's close confidant sparks lobbying row

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A political storm has erupted in Germany over when former government members are entitled to take up lucrative private posts.

The row centres on Ronald Pofalla – most recently the head of Angela Merkel’s chancellery, until he quit to spend more time with his family.

Now however, he is expected to take a high profile job at German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, drawing opposition criticism that it is too soon for him to be involved in such an important state-owned enterprise.

Christian Humborg, who heads Transparency International’s German branch believes politicians should be able to move into business but there should be at least a three-year cooling off period to avoid potential conflict of interest issues.

“We think that this is a problem because once again a politician changes job without rules that say what is okay and what is not,” said Humborg

It is not the first time such a storm has brewed in Germany. Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was also criticised for joining Russia’s Nord Stream after he lost the election in 2005.

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