Former German Foreign Minister Faces Plagiarism Accusations

World | September 30, 2013, Monday // 13:12
Bulgaria: Former German Foreign Minister Faces Plagiarism Accusations Frank-Walter Steinmeier, current and future German Social Democratic Party (SPD) parliamentary group leader, speaks to journalists after the first SPD parliamentary group meeting in Berlin, Germany, 24 September 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Former Foreign Minister of Germany and senior member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Frank-Walter Steinmeier has become the latest in a series of German politicians facing plagiarism accusations.

According to reports of German weekly magazine Focus, economics professor Uwe Kamenz sent an e-mail to the University of Giessen to inform that he had used special computer software to scan Steinmeier's PhD thesis in law from 1991 and the comparison with 95 sources had yielded problematic similarities in more than 500 places.

Kamenz insisted that the evidence was reason enough for the University of Giessen to launch an investigation or even a PhD revocation procedure.

Steinmeier refuted the accusations as absurd, adding that he was absolutely calm about the prospect of the university deciding to examine the thesis.

57-year-old Steinmeier is the latest in a series of German politicians to face plagiarism accusations.

Former Education Minister Anette Schavan resigned in February after she was stripped of her PhD degree from the University of Duesseldorf for systematic and deliberate plagiarism.

In March 2011, then-Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Gutenberg resigned after admitting to copying part of his doctoral dissertation.

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Tags: Frank Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister, plagiarism, Social Democratic Party, SPD, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, PhD thesis
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