German President Christian Wulff resigned amid the threat of a legal probe into corruption allegations, delivering a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel that risks distracting her from the euro-region debt crisis…
Wulff’s role was largely confined to representing Germany abroad until allegations relating to a private home loan during his time as state prime minister of Lower Saxony were aired in Germany’s best-selling Bild newspaper on Dec. 13, then followed up in Der Spiegel magazine. Within days, he was facing growing scrutiny of his financial affairs including vacations at the homes of business people, and calls from the opposition to quit.
Prosecutors in Lower Saxony, which Wulff governed from 2003 to 2010, submitted a request to the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, to have the president’s immunity lifted. They want to open an official probe after finding “initial evidence to suppose” the acceptance of illicit favors, the prosecutor’s office in the state capital of Hanover said in a statement on its website today.