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Westerwelle attacks homophobic: colleague

DDP/The Local · 17 Mar 2010, 08:56

Published: 17 Mar 2010 08:56 GMT+01:00

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Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a member of Westerwelle’s own Free Democrats party, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung it was “undeniably the case” that different standards had been applied to Westerwelle because he was gay.

Questions have been raised about the role of Westerwelle’s partner Michael Mronz on an official government trip last week to South America. Mronz, an event manager who specialises in sporting events, had visited charitable organisations as part of his role with philanthropic groups, Westerwelle said.

Critics noted that one of the countries visited, Brazil, is hosting the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 and that Mronz could have gained access to useful business contacts via Westerwelle’s connections.

But Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger dismissed that possibility.

“I have never heard questions asked about the profession of wives of ministers travelling with (their husbands),” she said. “With Westerwelle’s partner, that is a huge issue.”

Westerwelle has also been accused of taking his brother on his official trips, as well as businessmen close to his pro-business FDP party, who then use the occasions to secure deals.

Story continues below…

Westerwelle recently hit back at the charges as “slander.”

"During the (South America) trip, Michael Mronz visited several social establishments and gave private donations to projects that benefit children. He has not taken part in any political discussions but he went along to help children in the poor areas after the earthquake in Chile or in Brazil," he said.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:58 March 17, 2010 by whatzup
Its a tactic older than time itself, accuse your accusers. It doesn't matter what you say, just attack to take the attention off what you've done. Barney Frank in the US has worked the same strategy to good effect - "you hate us!". And of course it works every time.
11:15 March 17, 2010 by freechoice
i dun really think this is a gay issue...

if you go with your partner on a biz trip...okay..

if you go with your relatives and friends on official biz trips...someone is going to raise questions with regards to nepotism and collusions...
11:30 March 17, 2010 by mobiusro
freechoice - did u read any articles related to this subject?

That man IS his partner.

But yeah - Westerwelle started talking about some sensible issues - the other politicians, businesspeople and what not feel threatened so they strike back. This is an "old" story, sadly they will eventually win and Westerwelle will shut up.
11:38 March 17, 2010 by mixxim
Poor chap can't say anything without attracting criticism. How can he keep his pecker up. (I'm English)
12:49 March 17, 2010 by freechoice
mobiusro - if his partner was a woman, and do not have any business interests, maybe this won't happen?
13:44 March 17, 2010 by nyc-dem
If you saw any of the March 16 episode of the TV political cabaret "Neues aus der Anstalt", it's pretty clear there's a strong element of homophobia in the mockery. It's just a little hard to separate it at times from a broad and deeply held contempt for the FDP in general.
20:06 March 17, 2010 by Talonx
NYC-dem, if it's cabaret it's more than mockery, it's satire.
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