In an interview with broadsheet Die Welt, the former minister-president of Bavaria and former chairman of Germany's conservative CSU party said he was ready to unveil a plan to the Commission this week which promises total cost savings of over €40 billion spanning 13 different legislative areas.
About €6 billion would be saved by removing a requirement for 16 million businesses to produce annual accounts and undergo audits. Other cost-saving measures include the introduction of electronic receipts at tax offices and the obligatory installation of expensive tachometers for labourers only when journey distance exceeds 150 kilometres. Tachometers, a safety feature that measure a driver's rest period, cost €4,000 each.
To ensure the longevity of such measures, Stoiber will also recommend the establishment of an independent body to examine the potential cost of every piece of legislation. Currently the onus falls under the Commission's remit, but Stoiber argues that "when officials have to police their colleagues, they cannot make independent decisions".
Stoiber admits he faces "a big battle" to get the proposed measures approved quickly, as the respective institutions cannot agree on the specifics. Cost-savings, which so far run to €650 million to date, have not reached their potential yet, says the minister, because "when things get serious the sceptics suddenly appear: consumer rights activists, environmentalists and security fanatics". It is with some irony then that Stoiber's own motto, according to his website, is "action over talking".
His political fame should move the process along quicker than the status of an "an academic economist from the University of Hamburg," he adds in the interview. "I don't have any problems getting access to the commissioners. I can call [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel or [French President] Nicolas Sarkozy or Dutch Prime Minister Jan Balkenende," he argued.