But many doubt that's the reason behind the resignation, as there remain a lot of open questions, the Die Zeit newspaper reported on Saturday.
On Friday Social Democrat Beck announced he would resign effective January 2013, saying he had pancreatic problems and had been hospitalized in the winter of 2011. He said he would have preferred to stay in public office, but his health is not permitting that and he's facing a possible long-term stay in hospital this February.
Beck made no mention of the bankruptcy of the Nürburgring sports complex as a reason behind his resignation – even though he is largely seen as responsible for the insolvency of the state-owned firm which owns the race track complex that has left public coffers with more than €330 million in debt, Der Spiegel reported.
What is certain, Die Zeit reported, is that Beck's resignation is the end of an era. With 18 years as Rhineland-Palatinate's top official he is the longest-serving state premier in Germany. Beck named minister Malu Dreyer as his successor.