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Guttenberg attacks former colleagues

Guttenberg attacks former colleagues
Photo: DPA

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany’s former defence minister who resigned in March after being found to have plagiarised his doctoral thesis, has returned to the political stage with a scathing attack on his former colleagues.

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Speaking on Saturday at a security conference in Halifax, Canada, Guttenberg took aim at Germans in general and politicians in particular.

“It is not a euro crisis or a debt crisis. It is above all a crisis of understanding and a crisis of political leadership,” he said.

“The Germans have no idea how the European Union functions, how it came to this crisis and what it means. The politicians do not reach the public, they do not reach the people.”

Guttenberg was introduced to his audience with his latest title, “The honourable Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, distinguished statesman, Centre for Strategic and International Studies”. He now works for the Washington think-tank, having left Germany for the US in the wake of the plagiarism scandal.

He avoided journalists at the conference, and was for some difficult to recognise – his previous combination of gelled-back hair and glasses was replaced by a short haircut, no glasses and a fuller face.

After Guttenberg resigned in March, a certain section of Bavaria's conservative Christian Social Union, of which he had been considered a rising star, were keen to try to keep in Germany and revive his political career.

He lost his doctor title in the plagiarism scandal. A Bavarian court is yet to decide whether to try any of the many allegations of breach of copyright which were made against him.

DPA/The Local/hc

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