BERLIN (Reuters) – German businessman Friedrich Merz, who is running to switch Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader in the Christian Democratic (CDU) party, disclosed the first time that he or she earns about 1 million euros ($1.14 million) a year, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.
Merz, 62, chairs the German arm on the U.S. investment fund BlackRock, benefits the U.S. lawyer Mayer Brown and serves over the board of assorted companies.
Merz is running against CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, and Health Minister Jens Spahn, 38.
Merz stood at 49 percent support in a poll of conservative supporters published Sunday, in comparison to 32 percent for Kramp-Karrenbauer and 7 percent for Spahn.
“I began with all the wages of legislation clerk in Saarbruecken that was manageable for a family with two children. Today I earn of a million euros gross”, Merz told the newspaper.
Merz provided no information regarding his income from various positions, but annual reports show he recently earned 125,000 euros at BlackRock alone, and also 80,000 euros at Wepa Industrieholding, that produces tissue papper; 75,000 euros at Bank HSBC Trinkhaus, and 14,000 euros in the Cologne-Bonn Airport GmbH, the newspaper reported.
Criticised recently for saying he belonged to your upper middle class, Merz told the paper: “In my situation, ‘middle class’ is not an pure economic measure. From my parents I learned the values that shape the very class, including efforts, discipline, decency, respect additionally, the knowledge that certain should send to society jointly can”.
Merz said for him your message “upper class” conjured images of people which had inherited lots of money or even a company that ensured that they enjoy their lives. “This is simply not true for me”.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, editing by G Crosse)