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Westerwelle under fire for family business ties

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Westerwelle under fire for family business ties
Photo: DPA
12:40 CET+01:00
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Thursday faced new allegations that he had helped promote the business interests of his friends and family during official trips abroad.

Already under fire for bringing along his partner Michael Mronz to South America this week, Westerwelle was confronted with new revelations that business associates of his brother and Mronz accompanied him to Asia in January.

The daily Berliner Zeitung reported two colleagues of Kai Westerwelle were part of a small German business delegation that travelled with the foreign minister to Japan and China. A colleague of Mronz – who is in an openly gay relationship with Westerwelle – was also part of the delegation.

Though it's not uncommon for German politicians to take members of the country's business community along with them on official trips abroad, the foreign minister was accompanied by only 10 representatives on the four-day official trip to Asia. Among that group was Ralf Marohn, who owns the consulting firm Far Eastern Fernost Beratungs- und Handels GmbH with Kai Westerwelle.

Cornelius Boersch, a big donor to Westerwelle's pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) over the years, was also part of the group. Boersch's Switzerland-based Mountain Partners AG has had business dealings with the Westerwelle brothers for years and also works with sporting event manager Mronz.

Boersch and Mronz are both involved in the Mainz technology company Arygon AG, which reportedly supplied electronic readers for stadium turnstiles during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Mronz denied on Wednesday he was using his relationship with Westerwelle for business networking while in Brazil, which is hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

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