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German parties want lobbyist registry, may mandate hack reports
November 14, 2017 / 9:36 PM / 10 days ago

German parties want lobbyist registry, may mandate hack reports

BERLIN (Reuters) - German parties exploring a coalition government agreed on Tuesday to set up a mandatory registry of lobbyists and may require private firms to disclose breaches of cyber defences, according to a draft paper on security seen by Reuters.

The 3-page document, a blueprint for a new German government’s stance on security, showed growing consensus on some issues among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats and the environmental Greens.

But several issues remained unresolved, including the number of police jobs to be added, rules on storage of private data, and the future of a controversial hate speech law.

Merkel is pressing party leaders to resolve their differences by Thursday, with an eye to completing a detailed coalition agreement by Christmas.

Party negotiators made progress on boosting aid to families with children on Tuesday, but remained at odds over transport and climate and put off discussing immigration until Wednesday. Top party leaders will likely have to tackle the most difficult issues on Thursday, sources said.

Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt, a member of the CSU Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s conservatives, said negotiators had been unable to bridge gaps on transportation issues despite four hours of intense discussions.

“The Greens have a package of demands on the table that cannot be fulfilled,” he told reporters, citing a push by the Greens for higher taxes on diesel. He said his party would not agree to measures that would limit individual mobility or that could jeopardise the German auto industry.

Negotiators did agree to create a mandatory registry of individuals lobbying government and parliament on behalf of interest groups to ensure greater transparency.

They also said government agencies should be required to report cyber security gaps that affected relevant systems or a large number of people to the BSI federal cyber security agency.

The parties said they also planned to address dangers posed by cyber breaches of private companies. “This could include a reporting requirement,” the paper said, without elaborating.

The paper showed the parties had agreed to create 2,000 new jobs in the federal and state justice systems, and pledged to add jobs federal law enforcement as quickly as possible. But they remained at odds about the exact number of jobs.

The parties also agreed to expand control of the intelligence agencies via a special parliamentary board, according to the paper. It said the intelligence agencies and the federal government should be required to keep parliament informed about their work.

The parties also agreed to dodge a dispute over the future of the European Stability Mechanism and would not include that specific issue in a paper outlining the parties’ stance on Europe, negotiators said.

Reporting by Thorsten Severin, Andreas Rinke, Hans-Edzard Busesmann and Andrea Shalal, Editing by William Maclean

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