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August 12, 2022

German defence minister Guttenberg resigns

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has stepped down after he was found to have copied large parts of his university doctorate, the BBC informs. Guttenberg, considered until recently a possible candidate for chancellor, has already been stripped of his PhD. He told a news conference that it was “the most painful step of my life”. More than 20,000 German academics wrote to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday complaining he was still in his job. But Merkel had continued to stand by him, with her party facing three state elections later this month. Guttenberg told reporters in Berlin that he was relinquishing all his political offices and he thanked the chancellor for her support, trust and understanding. A 39-year-old aristocrat popular with the electorate, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of the chancellor’s Christian Democrats. He came under pressure after a Bremen University law professor began reviewing his 2006 thesis with the aid of the internet. The plagiarism scandal led to him being nicknamed Baron Cut-and-Paste, Zu Copyberg and Zu Googleberg by the German media.

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