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German opposition blocks plan to control exec pay

BERLIN (AP) -- The German Parliament's opposition-controlled upper house has blocked government plans to curb excesses in corporate managers' pay, just before national elections on Sunday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition planned to force publicly listed companies' to hold obligatory, binding votes on the pay system and maximum pay for managers at their annual general meetings. Those decisions are currently taken by companies' boards of directors.

The center-left opposition said the plan wouldn't solve the problem. It argued that shareholder meetings are dominated by institutional investors which themselves have driven corporate excesses.

Parliament's upper house represents Germany's 16 state governments.

It decided Friday to kick the proposal to a committee that resolves disputes with the lower house — effectively killing the plan, because the committee won't meet before the election.