German President Quits in Corruption Scandal

Christian Wulff's exit a blow to Angela Merkel
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 17, 2012 5:57 AM CST
German President Christian Wulff announces his resignation during a statement at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Feb. 17, 2012.   (AP Photo/dapd/ Timur Emek)

(Newser) – Germany's president has stepped down after being hit with multiple corruption allegations. Though Christian Wulff's position is mostly ceremonial, his exit is nevertheless politically damaging to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bloomberg notes. The chancellor had chosen Wulff to replace the previous president, who also resigned—just shy of two years ago. Merkel canceled debt talks with Italy's prime minister today over Wulff's exit.

News reports accused Wulff of financial misdeeds, including accepting improper favors and benefits. Prosecutors have called for an official investigation. Germany "needs a president who can devote himself completely to national and international challenges," Wulff said, according to CNN. "The developments of the past days and weeks have shown that this trust and therefore confidence in my ability to serve have been adversely affected. For this reason, it is no longer possible for me to continue in my role as president."

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