'Plagiarism' minister to take Vatican post

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 3 Feb, 2014 Updated Mon 3 Feb 2014 07:43 CEST
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UPDATE: Germany's former education minister is set to become the country's ambassador to the Vatican, it was confirmed on Monday. She stepped down a year ago amid claims she plagiarized her PhD thesis.

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Annette Schavan will be moving to the Vatican, in Rome, her office confirmed on Monday. The former minister is a practising Catholic and used to be head of the Central Council of German Catholics.

The new post means she will represent the German government abroad, despite the University of Düsseldorf stripping her of her degree, leaving the education specialist with only a high school leaving certificate.

Germany's current ambassador to Rome, Reinhard Schweppe, is due to retire this summer, but no date has been fixed yet for Schavan's move, a government spokesman said on Monday.

The 58-year-old has been open in her desire for a “new phase of life”, as she put it in a newspaper interview at the end of December.

She is in the process of appealing her former university's decision to take her doctorate away. The case will be heard in front of a court in March.

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