German Minister Guttenberg Drops PhD, Refuses to Resign

World | February 18, 2011, Friday // 14:45
Bulgaria: German Minister Guttenberg Drops PhD, Refuses to Resign German Minster of Defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg delivers a statement in Berlin, Germany, 18 February 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has temporarily renounced his PhD following accusations of plagiarism, but has said he would not resign as minister.

In a statement delivered in Berlin, Guttenberg apologised for plagiarising to obtain his doctoral degree and said he would drop the title of 'doctor' until the matter has been cleared up. He has refused to resign as minister despite the mounting pressure.

"I will temporarily, I repeat temporarily, give up my doctoral title," Guttenberg told reporters on Friday.

He said he would "actively" help the university investigating the claims and insisted he did not want to be treated according to different standards from anybody else.

"People expect me to carry out my challenging duty as defence minister with all my strength," he added.

Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is under fire over accusations that he plagiarised his PhD thesis. Critics have found newspaper articles, textbooks and even a webpage of the US embassy in Berlin that are remarkably similar to passages in Guttenberg's book-length study of constitutions for the University of Bayreuth.

The minister strongly denies the claims.

Chancellor Merkel called Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to her office in Berlin to explain severe allegations of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis. Opposition politicians, meanwhile, want Guttenberg to go.

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Tags: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, minister, Defence, German, Guttenberg, Berlin, Chancellor Merkel

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