EMAIL TO ALL IMPORTANT POLITICAL PEOPLE FROM BCG ON MARCH 14TH 2013
Prompted by the 1st hearing of the 3rd change of the Contergan Trust Law on March 14th the BCG wrote an email to all important political people of our country.
Until now none of them has reacted to our email. We did not even get a notice of receipt. Only the Federal Ministry of Family sent an automated response at 5:49:52 UTC.
That is the reason why we repeat this email below:
Mister President Joachim Gauck
Office of the President
Madam Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel
Office of the Chancellor
Mister President of the German Parliament
Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert
Platz der Republik 1
Madam Minister of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth
Dr. Kristina Schröder
Leaders of the Political Fractions of the German Parliament
Cologne, March 10th 2013
Re: 1st hearing of the 3rd change of the Contergan Trust Law in the German Parliament on March 14th 2013
Dear Mr President Joachim Gauck,
Dear Madam Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel,
Dear Madam Minister of Family Dr. Kristina Schroeder,
Dear Mr President of the German Parliament Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert,
Dear Leaders of the Political Fractions of the German Parliament,
On Thursday March 14th 2013 the 1st hearing of the 3rd change of the Contergan Trust Law in the German Parliament will take place.
There was a public hearing about the situation of the Contergan Victims on February 1st 2013 already. I was invited and present as an expert and as representative of the BCG.
I am acting as representative of the Contergan Victims in the advisory board of the Contergan Trust, too.
The BCG welcomes the commitment of the Ruling Coalition to increase the highest Contergan benefit up to about 7,000 €. We welcome as well that there are further merits planned as recommended in the survey of the University of Heidelberg.
In the debate taking place on March 14th 2013 we are of the opinion that the following 3 topics should be taken into consideration, too. That is the only way to implement them into the 3rd change of the Contergan Trust Law:
1. The Contergan Trust Law should absolutely contain rules which allow for a transparency of the internal affairs and a democracy of the decision making bodies. The new law should absolutely contain rules which enable the Contergan Victims through a majority of their own elected representatives in the board and the advisory board (elects and supervises the board) to participate in decisions. Furthermore it should not be possible that people connected directly or indirectly to the Gruenenthal Company or their owner, the Wirtz Family, or their subsidiaries or representatives are members in any of the Trust’s bodies or committees.
The members of the board or the Advisory Board should be elected by direct vote of the Contergan Victim beneficiaries nationally and internationally. Beneficiaries of other countries should be represented in the Advisory Board. Those should be elected by direct vote, too. The number depends on the numbers of beneficiaries in that country. In other European Countries their trusts are managed by the beneficiaries themselves.
That is the only way to stop the Gruenenthal Company or their owners Wirtz to influence the bodies and committees of the Trust for the next 40 years.
The included letter of the board of the Contergan trust dd. February 22nd 2013 and my answer to it dd March 8th 2013 points out how important it is.
2. The beneficiary should always be free to decide if the benefit should be paid (whole or partially) as a monthly pension or (whole or partially) through capitalisation as a lump sum without deduction of accrued interest.
Up to now to capitalize one’s benefit is connected to following a lot of rules and conditions. The benefits of the Contergan Trust must have compensation benefit character.
Therefore the capitalisation plan of a beneficiary must not be connected to any rules or conditions as in social legislation.
In case of compensation payments the beneficiary would have had the choice between a lump sum or a pension payment.
3. The German Parliament should publically and forcefully request that the companies owned by the Wirtz Family (owner of the Gruenenthal Company) pay back to the Federal Government most of the money spent now as monthly benefits for the Contergan Victims because of the new Contergan Trust Law. Alternatively a very significant part of the gain through the sale of companies as compensation to the Trust would be acceptable.
40 years after the Contergan Trsut came into effect it is not acceptable that only the tax payer still has to pay the bill for the responsible party.
Within the last years the companies owned by the Wirtz Family keep buying and selling product ranges or parts of their companies or other companies.
For the future the gain out of the sale of company parts or product ranges should be paid to the Federal Government or to the Contergan Trust.
In the case of planning to buy parts of other companies the money available should be paid to the Federal Government or to the Contergan Trust in the first place.
The BCG offers to support the Federal Government or the future Federal Government publically in the media in case they plan to do that.
We gladly offer our support for debates regarding the 3rd change of the Contergan Trust Law as we have 30 years of experience.
We kindly ask the president of the German Parliament, Mr Prof Dr Norbert Lammert, to relay this message including both appendices to the member of the German Parliament as documents to be used in 1st debate about the 3rd change of the Contergan Trust Law on March 14th 2013.
We remain yours with a big “Thank you!” and best regards
Please refer the statement by Andreas Meyer on 1.2.2013.
The reply by Andreas Meyer dated 8.3.2013 and the letter from Attorney Karl Schucht, member of the Management Board for the 11th period of office, dated 22.2.2013, were immediately the subject of two Minor Interpellations by the Parliamentary Group Die Linke (Left Party) on 4.4.2013.
The above-mentioned course of events with the statement by Andreas Meyer on 01.02.2013 and the letter from Attorney Karl Schucht dated 22.02.2013 has now prompted Mr Meyer to sue Mr Schucht before the Bonn Regional Court.
The above-mentioned sequence of events, with the statement by Andreas Meyer on 01.02.2013 and the letter from Attorney Karl Schucht on 22.02.2013, has now caused Mr Meyer to bring a lawsuit against Attorney Schucht before the Bonn Regional Court.
Please refer our press release dated 5.9.2016 about the filing of the lawsuit.
Please refer our press release dated 13.2.2017 about the court proceedings.
Please also read Section B of the open e-mail letter from Andreas Meyer to the Chairman of the Council of the Contergan Foundation, Christoph Linzbach (BMFSFJ), dated 30.4.2019.