Skip to comments.German president resigns in setback for Merkel
Posted on 02/17/2012 9:36:01 AM PST by NormsRevenge
ERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel's hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president resigned Friday in a scandal over political favors, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone debt crisis.
In a curt five-minute statement at the Bellevue presidential palace, Christian Wulff acknowledged that 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," said Wulff, standing next to his wife Bettina.
The search for a successor to Wulff could become a distraction for Merkel at a time when her government is embroiled in tough talks on a second bailout package for Greece, although analysts said they expected any impact on the negotiations to be limited.
Merkel postponed a Friday trip to Rome, where she was to hold talks on the debt crisis with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, to deal with the fallout from Wulff's departure.
She made a brief statement after his announcement, saying she regretted his departure and would seek talks with opposition parties to find a candidate to replace him.
The chancellor is riding a wave of popularity in Germany for her handling of the crisis, but the departure of Wulff raises questions about her judgment because she forced through his appointment in 2010 over a strong opposition candidate most Germans favored.
He is the second president to step down in less than two years. ..
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president resigned Friday in a scandal over political favors
Any doubt that political favors are not free?