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German 'Minister for Cut-and-Paste' Resigns

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TEHRAN, March 2 (ICANA)- The German defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, has announced his resignation.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:15:58 PM
German 'Minister for Cut-and-Paste' Resigns

He had come under heavy criticism after major parts of his doctoral thesis were found to be copied from other sources. An allegation he had first called absurd. Last Wednesday the University of Bayreuth stripped him of his title. The pressure of the media and scientists demanding consequences had become overwhelming.

When questioned in parliament last week zu Guttenberg admitted having made mistakes, but denied to have forged his thesis on purpose. The opposition called for his resignation. And in an open letter more than 17.000 scientists wrote to Chancellor Merkel that the plagiarism scandal was making a mockery of the academic world.

Zu Guttenberg, a 39-year-old aristocrat, had been very popular with the public. In polls, he was by far Germany’s most popular politician and was tipped as a future chancellor. For the moment though his political career has come to a halt.

Many here in Berlin believe he should have gone sooner. But backed by the Chancellor and the public zu Guttenberg, a strong political campaigner, apparently believed trouble would pass.

The pressure over zu Guttenberg had been immense, and analysts say his resignation must be a relief for the Chancellor, even though she lost a highly popular and influential minister, all ahead of crucial regional elections coming up later this month. Zu Guttenberg’s resignation might not go down well with the voters.

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