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Another FDP politician stripped of doctorate in plagiarism affair
Photo: DPA

Another FDP politician stripped of doctorate in plagiarism affair

Published: 14 Jul 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jul 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00

Another high-profile politician of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, has been stripped of his university doctorate amid a plagiarism scandal but has vowed to write another thesis if necessary.

Citing many instances of passages taken from the work of other researchers without proper recognition, an academic council of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Bonn decided unanimously to annul the doctorate degree of Chatzimarkakis, an FDP member of the European Parliament.

The decision broadens the academic plagiarism scandal that began with former defence minister and rising conservative star Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and spread to FDP EU parliamentarian Silvana Koch-Mehrin. Guttenberg has quit politics, his career in tatters, while Koch-Mehrin gave up her party positions but has kept her seat in Brussels.

Chatzimarkakis has so far given no indication he will resign. Bonn’s dean of philosophy, Günther Schulz, said late on Wednesday that Chatzimarkakis had used verbatim passages of other authors’ work without quotation marks. While he did mark the passages with footnotes, this was insufficient acknowledgement of the original authors, which breached the rules of scientific research, Schulz said.

“Such a practice conveys the impression that Mr Chatzimarkakis is speaking here, while in fact texts of other authors is reproduced,” he said.

The faculty council had established that more than half of his thesis came from other people’s work, which did not satisfy the demands required for a doctorate to be awarded.

“We will undertake strengthened efforts to prevent such ploys in the future,” he said.

Chatzimarkakis said he was upset by the decision but took comfort that the faculty had not ascribed any bad faith to his work. He said he had published his doctoral thesis online in 2000 because he was convinced that it had been sufficient for his doctorate qualification.

He said he still aimed to hold a doctorate and would write another thesis if necessary. The original thesis was on global information and E-commerce.

“I am ready to take on new doctoral work,” he said.

Chatzimarkakis said he had offered his thesis to the dean in the middle of May for reassessment when the first reports that he may have copied sections emerged.

The same faculty in Bonn is also reviewing new plagiarism claims against the FDP member Margarita Mathiopoulos.

DPA/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:11 July 14, 2011 by harcourt
I'll get in before german-guardian:

"Ah but he's not an ethnic German !!"
12:15 July 14, 2011 by pepsionice
As we get closer to the elections....some SPD and Green folks will start to worry because their thesis material will be checked out and have issues. And don't worry....if the newspapers won't do it....bloggers will.
12:38 July 14, 2011 by Englishted
@pepsionice

They are being checked already .

But are you saying it is o.k. if somebody else does it as well ?.

It is fraud it is a crime but nobody is being prosecuted for it why?.

Notice he is also in the E.U. parliament a hot bed of lairs and cheats from the F.D.P. Fraud Duplicity Party .

@harcourt

Don't encourage him please.
12:58 July 14, 2011 by Krim
Many others were and are cheating like Jorgo. I am sûre, they are waiting to see their name in the news. Some are lucky, the thesis was printed only on paper.

Bloggers should look at thesis and habilitaion(shrifts) of many fake professors.

These same professors are now allowing any mediocre to get a PhD.
13:05 July 14, 2011 by freechoice
boy oh boy, i need to check my thesis again, to see if i have left out any citations..LOL!
13:37 July 14, 2011 by lunchbreak
Do I detect a pattern here?
15:50 July 14, 2011 by vonSchwerin
This is only more proof that too many Germans are allowed to proceed to the doctorate-level work.

In the English-speaking countries, only the very best students are admitted to doctoral programmes, and usually it is only students who intend to have a university-based career.

In Germany, every mediocrity who completes his M.A. or Diplom and wants that extra social prestige (or resume booster) proceeds to do his doctorate. But they are simply not up to it. The result is a large number of poor-quality dissertations be written for no purpose other than the aggrandisement of the author. A real doctoral dissertation should contribute to the scholarship and enhance the discipline. It's not just a title to be gained.
16:21 July 14, 2011 by IYWMTS
@vonSchwerin:

In my opinion it strongly depends on the subject. Concerning the studies of law you are usually only allowed to earn a doctorate (in this particular case Dr. jur.) when you completed your first and perhaps also your second state examination with at least "vollbefriedigend" which is only achieved by 10-14% of all students in the first and 17% of all students in the second on average. (Unless your name ist zu Guttenberg and you have good contacts - then you can also do it with a "befriedigend".)
18:17 July 14, 2011 by Krim
All dpends on the good will of professors. If a professor want you to be a doctor, you will be one. If he want you to get it in a very short time , no problem.

In the US to become a PhD student, you need to go through a process to be accepted.

In Germany, you need to look at the internal life of groups, labs etc....To find out who is doing what. How PhD are more the work of the whole group... and all bargining taking place.......
21:31 July 14, 2011 by german-guardian
Plagarism is plagarism, and Germany should do everything she can to allow people who truly work hard and earn their PHD by credited than cheaters.

The system has to be improved. As we see here, this guy is not ethnic German, and he cheated his way in education. It is not fare to others. System has to be improved to check and make sure, everyone have the correct documents.
21:47 July 14, 2011 by drdoom
It will take a generation to see the effect of current student quality. I spend more than 2 years in Germany and most of the Ph.ds are mediocre and they will not get degree institutions like IITs (where I got phd). As I said, the previous generation was good, but we have to wait at least 20-30 years to see the effect. By that time, Chinese and Indian will be the masters.
22:10 July 14, 2011 by german-guardian
@ drdoom

No, Germany will be master. There is a lesson that says, they count the crops at the end of winter, not at begining. Meaning even if their is some problems now, Germany will solve it and it will become the best.
22:11 July 14, 2011 by DrStrangelove
@ harcourt +1

FDP = former doctor party
22:14 July 14, 2011 by german-guardian
We have this not German politicial who has cheated his way into our system like a parasite, and now after we find that his PHD is fake, he wants write his thesis. We have to fix our system, so that only truly desrving individuals who work hard can succeed.
22:35 July 14, 2011 by DrStrangelove
I have a sneaking suspicion that german-guardian is in fact not German at all. First, his English is terrible. OK, that is common enough. But if he indeed loved all things German as much as he claims to, he would stop exposing the objects of his love to ridicule by publicly associating himself with them. I think he is a foreign agent who is paid to sully Germany's reputation.
22:41 July 14, 2011 by german-guardian
@ DrStrangerlove

First of all, I am 100% German, and it does not matter what you think. You probably have a fake account here, and in fact multiple ones, and are here just like this faked non-German PHD politicial to create disruption. I have seen your many comments against Germany and here I am to defend it, and now you call me a non-German. Anyway your lies will not make a difference. Your mouth is bigger than your head. Evil one, your kind is famous for trickery
22:53 July 14, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
There have always been cheats and liars in politics, so the swindle with doctor titles does not really come as an all too surprising event. It would probably also be true to say, that a large number of dissertations are not even written by the students themselves and are providing unknown contemporaries with a welcome, but possibly tax-free, source of income.

What is surprising however, is the low standard of analysis carried out on the work offered by the students wishing to qualify. Do those responsible, for the level of education in universities, not realise that such slipshod verification of competence and aptitude, could lead to the non-recognition of German credentials overseas.

The result being that all honest persons, with a doctor title from this country, might be looked upon with suspicion.

Has nobody read the book, Generation Doof?
22:56 July 14, 2011 by german-guardian
@ Kenneth ingle

Great point, I think the system has to be fixed from the roots. By that I mean, if they make it impossible for anyone to cheat. I am sure Germany will do that.

When the system gets fixed from the roots then only truly deserving, and hard working people will come to top
09:06 July 15, 2011 by heyheyhey
@DrStrangelove....just shut up, will you?
09:37 July 15, 2011 by harcourt
german-guardian #12

The saying you quote sounds like a Russian proverb said many times in November 1941 !!!
09:57 July 15, 2011 by vjtheking
@ german-guardian: you keep referring to Germany in the 'feminine' in this as well as other posts... while other Germany & the rest of the world know it as the 'Fatherland'... what? is it some sort of Oedipus complex with you or is Germany officially a Transvestite??
10:43 July 15, 2011 by nemo999
FDP Fraudulent Degree Party?
14:33 July 15, 2011 by Englishted
@german-guardian

"Your mouth is bigger than your head."

What?

@vjtheking

Very witty comment ,I have thought that myself ,but remember it is only that idiot that says it.
15:45 July 15, 2011 by DrStrangelove
@ vjtheking:

This astute question deserves a parliamentary inquiry. It is high time that these gender issues be resolved in a mature and accepting manner. German-guardian's parlance may well be vindicated by the results of this process!
16:13 July 15, 2011 by LiberalGuy
@German Guardian

One thing. You cannot have a fake account on here. By saying so, you are suggesting that the account itself is a fake and does not link up or have any association with to The Local. It's true you can have multiply accounts on here, but not fake ones. Now if you are suggesting that user 'Dr Strangelove' is not the fictional character out of the Stanely Kubrick film, then yes you probably are correct. I would dare say 'Dr Strangelove' is not Peter Sellers ethier, but I would dare not say you are the Guardain of Germany ethier. So I guess that makes you just a big a fake as the rest of us
21:07 July 15, 2011 by Englishted
@LiberalGuy

You were nearly perfect ,just a minor error in the last sentence.

Please allow me to correct if this is not plagiarism.

"So I guess that makes you just a big a fake as the rest of us "

Drop "as the rest of us", drop the a between "big a fake " and finally change two letters in "fake" you end up with:

"So I guess that makes you just a big f**k"

There that is shorter and more accurate.
21:56 July 15, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
"While he did mark the passages with footnotes, this was insufficient acknowledgement of the original authors, which breached the rules of scientific research"

Great. So another man's career is ruined because he didn't use notation correctly. I'm glad this "criminal" got the punishment he deserves. How many of you have NEVER cheated or lied before? It's important to have perspective when discussing this issue.
12:52 July 16, 2011 by Englishted
@Jack Kerouac

If you or I lied on our c.v. we would be sacked (at least) ,he did by being elected as something he is not.

He is not the first from his party and so far only one has had the guts (as well as the money) to leave,so they should be pushed.
13:03 July 16, 2011 by IYWMTS
@Kennneth Ingle and drdoom:

Luckily the problem with some of these cheaters comes to surface now, so that hopefully they will fix the problem for now and the future.

As for "Generation Doof" I have to disagree, because when you have a closer look at the so called "PISA-studies" you can see that since the first PISA-studies in 2000 German students have improved every following PISA-studies, while other countries like France and the UK as an entitiy have declined since then.

Everybody is talking about academics and doctorates - yes, they are important, but what is at least as important as the two groups mentioned above is a good dual education system concerning apprenticeship (in German: Berufsausbildungssytem) and a good system that provides people who already did such an apprenticeship with further education (in German: Berufsfortbildungssystem).

Ph.ds are mediocre drdoom? I doubt that perhaps except of Ph.ds in medicine. But do you really think that a Ph.d shows how good a person will be in his later profession - I don't think so.
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