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Guttenberg slams 'clueless' critics

The Local · 24 Jan 2011, 14:19

Published: 24 Jan 2011 14:19 GMT+01:00

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Guttenberg, a suave aristocrat who regularly is ranked Germany's most popular politician, relieved the captain of a naval training vessel of his duties Saturday after the death of a female cadet in November sparked an alleged mutiny.

Opposition leaders have accused the minister of seeking a scapegoat to cover up his own failure to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the trainee's death. Guttenberg fired off a strongly-worded statement in response.

"The decisions made over the weekend were appropriate and necessary. Some of the statements (criticising me) reveal remarkable cluelessness," he said. "I recommend to those who were already up in arms before the fact to become familiar with the basics of laws covering civil servants and soldiers."

He said Commander Norbert Schatz had been removed from his duties to facilitate a thorough investigation of the fatal accident.

"In light of these accusations, this measure is also in his interest," Guttenberg said. "If these allegations prove to be false, then his career will continue as planned."

According to reports, cadets had refused Schatz's orders to climb the rigging after the 25-year-old female trainee plunged to her death from a yardarm while the ship was sailing off Salvador de Bahia in Brazil.

German media have since said that chaotic conditions reigned on the three-masted vessel including frequent incidents of sexual harassment.

The father of another female cadet on the Gorch Fock who went overboard and drowned in 2008 called Monday for a new probe into her accident.

Story continues below…

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Guttenberg had Chancellor Angela Merkel's "full support."

Guttenberg, also under fire for other incidents involving the armed forces, called Sunday for a comprehensive probe of possible systemic problems in the German military.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:39 January 24, 2011 by golfcricket
Clueless?? Please elaborate Mr. Guttenberg. Maybe then would you be out of the spotlight.. Friggin idiot!
15:55 January 24, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
yeah that's becoming like a theme with him... nothing is ever his fault. It's always somebody else's...

And it's becoming obvious that Guttenberg is just too important to fail for the CDU. They desperately need him to win elections (or so they hope) once Angela Merkel is gone. Otherwise they would have deposed him a while ago.

But when you really look at it, Guttenberg has gone from scandal to scandal... eventually his teflon coating will wear off and something will stick and break his neck. It's just a matter of time.
18:18 January 24, 2011 by Bravo2
Wow, he's already acting like he is the Chancellor.
19:59 January 24, 2011 by derExDeutsche
"In light of these accusations, this measure is also in his interest," Guttenberg said. "If these allegations prove to be false, then his career will continue as planned."

hohoho, Herr Guttenberg! What is good for the goose, must be good for the gander, Herr Chef !

maybe not such a bad idea! Lets 'relieve' Chef Guttenberg until ALL investigations have been satisfied. That way, IF he is then allowed to return to his position, nobody will look at him differently.
02:11 January 25, 2011 by pepsionice
Shocking how comments go on Guttenberg.

The cadet falls and dies. The commander tended to the situation but still needed the rigging done in some fashion, so he goes to direct that, and no one will take his orders. Eventually, the whole crew takes the position.

The right situation would have been for the commander to settle to the untimely death issue....gather the crew to stabilize the situation....and show some sympathy while dealing with a continuing mission. The commander evidentially missed key points in stabilizing the situation or getting the crew focused on the situation at hand.

To say that Guttenberg himself is faulted here....is where "clueless" fits. There are some faults here on the commander's side, but the command did everything else by the book. It would appear that number of folks in Germany are heading toward a one-mistake atmosphere...where you could fire ministry officials week by week. As long as you have enough volunteers...that's ok. But I'm thinking you'd eventually run out of volunteers to even operate a tourist office.
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