German president resigns in blow to Merkel

By REUTERS
February 17, 2012 13:10

 
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BERLIN - Angela Merkel's hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president resigned on Friday in a scandal over political favors, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone crisis.

In a curt five-minute statement at the Bellevue presidential palace, Christian Wulff said he had lost the trust of the German people, making it impossible to continue in a role that is meant to serve as a moral compass for the nation.

"For this reason it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president at home and abroad as required," Wulff said, standing next to his wife Bettina.

Merkel postponed a trip to Rome where she was to hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and made a brief statement after Wulff spoke, saying she regretted his departure.

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