Wednesday, 2 March 2011

University Strips German Defence Minister of his PhD for plaigarism

From Feb 2011

German defence minister resigns in PhD plagiarism row
- The Guardian

He was voted Germany's most popular politician, a chisel-jawed, gelled-haired aristocrat who held such rock-star status that his party used to play an AC/DC track every time he took to the stage. But Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has resigned as defence minister after being engulfed by a plagiarism scandal, leaving the ruling coalition with a serious charisma vacuum.

His departure is a huge blow for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union party (CDU). Already weakened after defeats in recent regional elections, she is facing the prospect of implosion at six other local polls this year.

The 39-year-old baron, often tipped to be a future chancellor, has handed in his notice to Merkel after almost two weeks of frontpage stories about the authenticity of his PhD thesis. He is now expected to retreat to his castle in Bavaria to plot his next move. "It is the most painful step I've ever had to take," Guttenberg said at a press conference in Berlin. "I was always prepared to fight but I have reached the limits of my powers."