• Germany's news in English

Fresh revelations hit beleaguered president

The Local · 15 Jan 2012, 10:47

Published: 15 Jan 2012 10:47 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The newsweekly reports that during his time as premier of Lower Saxony, Wulff and his wife Bettina made a trip to Munich for the annual festival and that film producer David Groenewold paid for their upgrade to a better hotel room.

Groenewold is reported to have paid the difference between what Wulff paid for the room at the exclusive Bayerischer Hof hotel and what it actually cost.

Wulff’s lawyer insisted that his client had paid his own hotel bill, and this was then reimbursed by the state chancellery and Lower Saxony’s Christian Democratic Union, as he had a number of official and party appointments while in Munich.

Der Spiegel's website had previously reported that Groenewold had paid several thousand euros to the author of a book about Wulff that was published in 2006.

Wulff has been in the hot seat for over a month over his cosy relations with a number of business people after it emerged that he had accepted a low-interest loan of €500,000 from the wife of a friend, prominent business man Egon Geerkens, to purchase a house. At the time, he denied having any business relations with Geerkens, but declined to mention the loan.

Calls for his resignation increased after it was revealed that he had tried to stop mass circulation newspaper Bild from publishing the story.

During a recent TV interview, the president pledged to provide full details about the affair but his lawyer subsequently argued that he could not do so, saying only reporters can decide whether to release the questions and answers. However, amid mounting criticism, Wulff announced on Friday that his lawyer will make public more details next week.

Story continues below…

On Saturday Chancellor Merkel once again backed Wulff, but also called on the president to provide transparency. "The task is to answer the questions extensively," she told reporters at a CDU conference.

The Local/DPA/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:50 January 15, 2012 by JDee
errrrr.... so what? this non-story get more pathetic by the moment, what next, Christian Wulff accused of stealing cafe-creamers from DB train?
12:29 January 15, 2012 by supernova
This is Germania and Germans are born to condemn and criticize which is why their lives are so entertaining and full of fun. Wulff must hate these folks but of course deep in his heart!
13:17 January 15, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
The problem is that as President, he must be above any suspicions of bribery and compromised integrity. When somebody pays for his vacation, even if only in part, then that seriously calls into question Wulff's neutrality.

Government-employed officials of any kind in Germany are without exception forbidden from accepting any kinds of presents, favors, or other forms of remuneration from citizens or businesses in relation, however remote, with their official duties.

It seems to me that Wulff has already grossly violated that code of conduct many times. The revelations just keep on coming. Even as it is, he has already piled up enough evidence against himself that it just blows my mind how he can still not even blink and still vehemently refuses to step down.

Every day that he remains in office does more to tarnish and besmirch the office of the President.
14:34 January 15, 2012 by Englishted
What I find strange is the president of the host country needed to upgrade his room? ,didn't the hotel give him the best anyway ?.

But it is time for him to go corruption stinks and he is starting to whiff.
14:38 January 15, 2012 by raandy
JDee,LOL,good one.

The upgrade and the loan , not that big of an issue in many peoples mind, including myself.

As I have written before, it is the threat to the news that made me decide he should go.
18:25 January 15, 2012 by mixxim 1
He should try to learn from British politicians like Mendleson and Blair. Why catch minnows when they land Whales?
23:00 January 15, 2012 by McM
Pathetic provincial issues continue make German news so boring.

This country has always been run by petty corruption in some well tarted up media approved popular movement fad. Who are the the baying news hounds kidding. The President here is no better or worse than many of the past so called great squeaky clean examples of national symbolism from the various political parties. Denialism comes to mind each time the shock horror disclosure fog settles on some worthy sacrifice.

When will the general public here ever get tired media preoccupation with the fear of human nature alls iits imperfections.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd