A GERMAN politician has proposed a law making marriage contracts null and void after seven years, with the option to renew for those not feeling the proverbial itch.
"I propose that marriages lapse after seven years,'' Gabriele Pauli told reporters in Munich, the capital of the largely Catholic southern state of Bavaria.
"This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your vows if you still want to continue.''
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ms Pauli, 50, has been divorced twice.
"It means that, in future, people would in future enter marriages only on a time-limited basis, and would then actively say 'yes' to an extension," she added. She argued that, since a high proportion of marriages end in divorce and many people stay married only for fear of separation or for financial reasons, "perhaps one can live better outside marriage." Pauli conceded that "the fine points must still be cleared up" and said that "obviously, a lot stands against this."
The 'seven-year-hitch' plan drew sharp criticism from party colleagues in Pope Benedict XVI's home region. The proposal is part of her manifesto as she prepares to contest the leadership of Bavaria's governing party, the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), next week.
Shortly after announciong her candidacy, Ms Pauli caused a stir by posing for magazine pictures as a dominatrix wearing long latex gloves.
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