Monday night, I skipped the ARD (German public TV, Channel One) show....."Hard But Fair". It's a live public forum with topics picked each week which interest the German public.
I went back to review comments made about the show and came to Focus Magazine's short description of the evening. The topic was.....German welfare (Hartz IV).
They had wrapped up most of the hour-long show and gotten to the final question.....where the moderator (Frank Plasberg) asked the guests the last 'big' question. The question was.....for an entire day of charitable work.....who'd you like to see in such a position?
They went around the group and Hans-Werner Sinn (chief of the IFO Institute (Munich)) responded that he'd like to see the person in this group (to include the moderator) who makes the most money. Then he looked straight at the moderator from ARD, to note that Plasberg was that big-money guy.
I suspect Frank was a bit shocked....but laughed over the comment.
It kinda opened up one of those questions that some Germans have about public TV, and the salary structure. One can only guess what ARD pays Plasberg, but I would assume some amount of money over 250,000 Euro a year. If you were looking for a list of salaries within the public TV network....it's about the most secret thing existing in Germany today. Maybe the CEO of the public TV network has his salary in some public setting, but you won't find anyone else mentioned.
As for this welfare discussion? Right now....it's moved up to topic number one for the journalists and political folks. Most folks think that some replacement program will occur in 2018.....but where they find the extra couple of billion Euro laying around is another question.....unless they invent another tax.