SPD ‘assigns Ederer’

Siemens manager Brigitte Ederer has been asked to advise the German Social Democrats (SPD) on economic-political issues, it has been claimed.Austrian magazine Format reports today (Fri) that the former Siemens Austria boss agreed to join the SPD’s new economic politics council consisting of around 50 members.German media regard the foundation of the group as an attempt to sharpen the opposition party’s profile regarding economic issues.The party headed by Sigmar Gabriel has struggled to significantly benefit from the public feuds the country’s joint administration – formed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) – have engaged in since taking office last year.The Alliance ’90 / The Greens are, meanwhile, doing better than ever before in the party’s history in polls.The decisions by the group Ederer now reportedly joined will not be binding for the SPD, German newspapers said. The party pointed out all of members of the committee were working free of charge except for having their travel expenses refunded when they meet for talks.Ederer, who was unavailable to comment on Format’s report, was a state secretary of the Austrian Social Democratics (SPÖ) before becoming CEO of Siemens Austria. She entered the German IT and health industry company’s board earlier this year. Ederer now also supervises the firm’s European operation and its human resources department.Wolfgang Hesoun, former head of Austrian construction firm Porr, succeeded Ederer at Siemens Austria.The company only recently opened a new office complex in the Austrian capital Vienna. Around 6,000 people will work in the Siemens City Vienna in the city’s Floridsdorf district. Siemens, which was founded in 1847, announced it had poured 150 million Euros into the creation of the building.