We are making good progress extracting all the farm subsidy payment data published on the German government’s website. While doing so we have found 21 recipients for whom no information on name, municipality or postcode is given. The total payments to these 21 recipients is 16.8 million euros, of which 8.9 million euros is in direct aid (as opposed to market support or rural development).
Among these ‘invisible men’ are four recipients who got more than 1 million euros in 2008. The amounts are as follows: €3,168,264.42, €1,825,968.97, €1,080,415.2 and €1,024,959.26. We can deduce that three of these secret millionaires are farmers – their subsidy payments come through ‘direct aid’ and ‘rural development’ measures and one is a food or trading company as its money comes from ‘other market measures’.
So who are these ‘invisible men’?
Meanwhile, rumours are flying around the German press corps about the possibility that a very high ranking Government minister is among the top recipients of farm subsidies. The Minister’s farm holdings are thought to be are in Bavaria, which means we cannot know for sure since Bavaria, alone among all the German regional governments, is still holding out against publishing its data.