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Author Topic: German President Wulff to resign  (Read 3911 times)
Tender Branson
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« on: December 19, 2011, 05:44:20 am »
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Pressure Mounts in Loan Scandal

New Accusations Against German President



Inconsistencies have emerged in statements made by German President Christian Wulff as a loan scandal surrounding the head of state continues to unfold. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, the loan came from a businessman friend and not from his wife, as Wulff has claimed.

Who loaned Christian Wulff €500,000 ($660,000)? Was it entrepreneur Egon Geerkens, or his wife Edith? The answer to this question will determine the credibility of the German president, but it appears that Wulff has not been forthcoming with all the details.

Wulff has maintained that he accepted a private loan from Edith Geerkens while he was still governor of Lower Saxony in 2008, and has denied having business ties with her husband. But now new information has emerged revealing that the money for the loan came de facto from Egon Geerkens himself.

Egon Geerkens, 67, told SPIEGEL that he, not his wife, led the negotiations over the loan. He said that he had considered "how the deal could be handled." Furthermore, the friendly connection between the two families was based on the relationship between Wulff and him, Geerkens added.

The payment of the loan was conducted via Edith Geerken's bank account, as stated by Wulff, but Egon Geerkens had power of attorney over the account. The repayment of the loan in 2010 was done through an account that belonged to both spouses.

A further circumstance suggests that the original owner of the large sum was Egon Geerkens himself. When he married Edith in the 1990s, Egon was already wealthy, while his new partner, who was an employee at his jewelry store, brought only a small income to the relationship. After they married, she quit working. Additionally, the two agreed to separation of property.

According to the entrepreneur, they specifically chose a way to transfer the money without having the names of the involved parties come to light. "We are both very well known in Osnabrück," Geerkens told SPIEGEL. "And I didn't want some bank trainee to see that so much money was flowing from me to Wulff." Thus an anonymous Bundesbank check was issued and given to Wulff to cash.

Another detail involving real estate reveals that Egon Geerkens typically took care of financial matters in his marriage. In 2008, his wife Edith purchased a Florida home for about $1 million. It was the same home where Wulff reportedly vacationed during the Christmas holidays in 2009. The money for the home had been transferred to Edith from Egon via a notarized loan contract.

The controversy over the loan arose on Tuesday when German daily Bild reported that Edith Geerkens had granted a loan for a half-million euros in October 2008, at an interest rate of 4 percent, which the Wulffs used to buy a house on Oct. 1, 2008 for €415,000. But Wulff had denied having business ties to Egon Geerkens in response to a state parliamentary question from the opposition Green Party in 2010.

On Thursday, Wulff broke his silence on the issue, admitting that he had made mistakes in connection with accepting the loan. "I recognize that the wrong impression could arise here," Wulff said in a written statement. "I regret that."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,804337,00.html
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 01:05:54 pm by Tender Branson »Logged
Tender Branson
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 05:47:55 am »
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I think the article does not mention the fact that under Niedersachsen law, the Prime Minister is not allowed to take a low-interest loan (or any loan ?) while in office ... That's the bigger problem.
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 05:49:00 am »
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I admit it would be pretty amusing to lose two Presidents in one legislative period Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 05:50:33 am »
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If he resigns, how many chance the Social-Democrats take their revenge and manage to have one of them elected ?
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 05:52:04 am »
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If he resigns, how many chance the Social-Democrats take their revenge and manage to have one of them elected ?

Not unlikely in that event. The government only has a majority of 4 in the Bundesversammlung. Wull was elected in the third ballot with about 20 votes less than he should have had.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 06:03:37 am »
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Who would the parties most likely run if he really resigns ?

SPD/Greens: ?
CDU/FDP: Van der Leyen ?
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 06:06:37 am »
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Who would the parties most likely run if he really resigns ?

SPD/Greens: ?
CDU/FDP: Van der Leyen ?

I've heard Gauck's name suggested again.
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 06:10:44 am »
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Who would the parties most likely run if he really resigns ?

SPD/Greens: ?
CDU/FDP: Van der Leyen ?

I've heard Gauck's name suggested again.

Why not? We all knew Gauck couldn't win a year ago, but he got an impressive support anyway.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 07:33:20 am by Senator Kalwejt »Logged
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 06:14:54 am »
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If Wulff does eventually resign (which I'm not sure he will), I'm reasonably certain that the SPD will win. I can't imagine their being less than 4 "traitors" in the CDU ranks.

(I'd certainly support Gauck...and probably any SPD candidate.)
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 06:15:50 am »
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Yeah, it's amusing.

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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 10:22:45 am »
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I think the SPD's chances are a bit overestimated here. On the third ballot, a SPD candidate would still need to win more votes than a CDU candidate.


Together, CDU/CSU and FDP have between 622 and 624 votes.

SPD and Greens have between 475 and 477 votes. Throw the Left in and you're at 600-602. Together with the Free Voters, the Pirates, and the SSW you'd reach 613-615.

Assuming that SPD, Greens, Left, Free Voters, Pirates, and SSW could agree on a single candidate for the third ballot, this candidate would still have to swing a couple of CDU/FDP votes.

It's correct that Joachim Gauck managed to swing more than just a couple of votes from the CDU.  But people are quick to forget that the members of the Left would rather cut off one of their hands than to vote for Gauck. If the SPD would run someone like Gauck, you'd instantly lose 125 votes again and you're back at 490, at best. That's not even close to a majority.

So the SPD would have to find a candidate who could get the (almost?) unanimous support of the Left as well as a significant number of CDU/FDP members. Can't think of anyone right now.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 10:42:11 am by Gays made America strong »Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 11:43:23 am »
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If Merkel were smart (and gave a sh!t about anything), she'd run Klaus Töpfer BTW. After all, Klaus Töpfer was one of the guest speakers at a Green federal congress this year.

And if SPD/Greens were even smarter than Merkel, they'd run with Töpfer. But this would probaly mean we'll be stuck with Schäuble as CDU candidate (and president) in the end. Tongue
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 11:48:15 am by Gays made America strong »Logged
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 11:49:25 am »
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Speculation has emerged whether Wullff will hold the presidential Christmas adress this year and if so, whether he'll mention the ongoing debate regarding his person.

"My dear citizens, many things have been reported these past days regarding my person. But let me assure you: I'm not crook." Tongue
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2011, 01:40:25 pm »
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It's correct that Joachim Gauck managed to swing more than just a couple of votes from the CDU.  But people are quick to forget that the members of the Left would rather cut off one of their hands than to vote for Gauck.

You made the point. The SPD would have to find a candidate that has the votes of the Left party behind him, and helps getting some "traitors" from the government benches. Very difficult.

Anyway, I don't think Wulff will resign.
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 03:34:08 pm »
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It's correct that Joachim Gauck managed to swing more than just a couple of votes from the CDU.  But people are quick to forget that the members of the Left would rather cut off one of their hands than to vote for Gauck.

You made the point. The SPD would have to find a candidate that has the votes of the Left party behind him, and helps getting some "traitors" from the government benches. Very difficult.

Anyway, I don't think Wulff will resign.

Which gives the SPD attack-ad fodder in advance of 2013.
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 03:52:27 pm »
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It will be forgotten by 2013. Wulff might be somewhat damaged goods forever, but it won't remain an acute issue that long. It's just too minor really.
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2012, 06:48:35 am »
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New revelations in the Wulff affair:

Apparently, the president had personally called the editor-in-chief of the BILD newspaper and threatened him with criminal charges in order to prevent the story from getting published in the first place.

Great, now he has every journalist in the country against him. Is Wulff truly f**ked now? Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2012, 08:06:25 am »
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Apparently, the president had personally called the editor-in-chief of the BILD newspaper and threatened him with criminal charges in order to prevent the story from getting published in the first place.

lol, classy.
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2012, 09:53:25 am »
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Statement by the President's office: The president holds the freedom of press in high regard. And no comment on private phone calls made by him.

Statement by BILD: The reports regarding Wulffs's phone call are in fact true, but they chose not to report it themselves because the president had privately apologized for it a couple of days later.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 12:48:28 pm by Gays made America strong »Logged
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2012, 04:14:22 pm »
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My favorite quotes of the day... Cheesy


Stefan Aust, former editor-in-chief of the SPIEGEL magazine: "Wulff is on a political suicide mission".

Erwin Lotter, FDP Bundestag member: "I'm ashamed that I have voted for him."
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« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2012, 07:59:26 pm »
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Did he have his Christmas speech?
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2012, 02:02:24 am »
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My favorite quotes of the day... Cheesy

Erwin Lotter, FDP Bundestag member: "I'm ashamed that I have voted for him."

He should rather be ashamed that he's still a member of an idiotic party.
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2012, 05:11:40 am »
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Did he have his Christmas speech?
Yeah, of course.
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2012, 08:52:05 am »
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Wulff should retire. He has lost the credibility that is necessary to be a moral authority.
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2012, 12:15:28 pm »
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Show of shoes against German president



Protesters gather in front of Christian Wulff's residence following controversy about his non-disclosure of a home loan.

...

About 150 people waved their shoes in front of the residence of Christian Wulff, the German president, following the controversy about his non-disclosure of a home loan.

The protesters gathered along a sidewalk in front of Bellevue Palace on Saturday as part of a demonstration organised on Facebook under the motto: "Show Wulff your shoes - Shoe for you Mr President!"

"We only want to hold the shoes up, not throw them," said one organizer, Juergen Jaenen, referring to a 2008 incident in which an enraged Iraqi journalist threw his shoe at then US president George Bush.

Wulff has come under increasing criticism for weeks as it has emerged that, when he was the premier of the state of Lower Saxony, he failed to report a house loan received from the wife of a wealthy friend.

Further questions have been raised as to whether he used his influence to convert that money into a commercial loan at cheap rates.

Additionally, Wulff has become embroiled in a war of words with Bild, a major mass-circulation newspaper, for a phone call in which he attempted to get the publication's editor to delay or stop a story about the loans.

Although Wulff's position is largely ceremonial, criticism of him is embarassing for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who nominated him for the job.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/01/20121714172117829.html
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