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Sauerland won't jump, but will be pushed

The Local · 2 Aug 2010, 16:36

Published: 02 Aug 2010 13:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Aug 2010 16:36 GMT+02:00

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Sauerland, who has come in for mounting criticism over his handling of the tragedy, could risk losing part of his pension if he were to resign. He said in statement on Monday would instead put his position to a vote of the city council.

"Naturally I will - as previously announced - face the deselection process according to the municipal rules of the state of NRW," he said referring to North Rhine-Westphalia.

There has been speculation for some days that his motive for resisting calls for his resignation is partly financial. The 55-year-old former teacher stands to gain a considerable benefits package from his 28 years as a public servant, the WAZ news group reported on Monday.

Sauerland is facing intense pressure to step down, with politicians from his own conservative Christian Democrats party – and even President Christian Wulff – questioning his claim that he bore no personal responsibility for the tragedy of July 24 because he had not himself signed off on the plans.

On Monday, the centre-left Social Democrats on the city council joined calls by the smaller parties for Sauerland to resign. The pro-business Free Democrats, environmentalist Greens and socialist Left party have already made such calls.

With the SPD included, the city council would have the majority to vote out Sauerland, WAZ reported.

In what has widely been regarded as hopelessly inadequate security plans, Love Parade organisers channelled hundreds of thousands of party-goers through a tunnel into the main dance area, eventually causing a blockage that turned into a human crush, in which 21 people were killed and more than 500 injured.

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Sauerland said he was prepared to accept the political consequences only after the degree of the city council's culpability was established.

"For me it's clear: I will face my entire responsibility both personally and politically. Both are tied together," he said in his statement, adding he would push for a state parliamentary inquiry into the incident.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

06:03 August 3, 2010 by JAMessersmith
It's tragic enough that techno music is still wildly popular in Europe, let alone that people are losing their lives in techno-related stampedes.

As for this mayor... he has to know he's done for. He should try to retain some dignity and bow out quietly without causing a scene. But to the contrary, it appears he wants to go down kicking and screaming, and drag as many others down with him as possible.
23:39 August 3, 2010 by authun
I've always hated this "butcher the man at the top" mentality that seems all-the-more common in the 21st century.

What about the specific "expert" directly responsible for organizing such affairs?!? What justice is there in an incompetent subordinate not being held to task, and thereby allowed to climb further up the ladder?

It sadly reminds me of the suicide of the Asian engineer who felt responsible for one (the first?) of the Space Shuttle disasters.

The BP affair is another example - I seriously doubt that dumping the CEO is alone going to resolve much, if any, corporate attitude toward safety in that organization.
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