Embattled German President Sorry For Editor Call


Salon Staff
January 4, 2012 10:18PM (UTC)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's president says an angry call to a newspaper editor regarding a story on a private loan he received was a serious mistake, but is making clear that he has no intention of stepping down.

Christian Wulff — Chancellor Angela Merkel's candidate for the largely ceremonial presidency in 2010 — has faced questions over a euro500,000 ($650,000) loan he received from a wealthy businessman's wife before he became president.

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Wulff previously apologized for mistakes in handling that. But pressure deepened this week with revelations he called the editor of Bild newspaper last month to complain about its plans to publish the original story about the loan.

On Wednesday, Wulff told ARD and ZDF television the call was "a serious mistake I am sorry for." But asked whether he had considered quitting, he replied: "No."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing the country's president to explain himself further about a private loan and a threatening call to a newspaper that has cast doubt on the head of state's future.

Christian Wulff — Merkel's candidate for the largely ceremonial presidency in 2010 — has faced questions over a euro500,000 ($650,000) loan he received from a wealthy businessman's wife before he became president.

Wulff apologized for mistakes in handling that. But pressure deepened this week with revelations he called the editor of Bild newspaper last month to try and prevent publication of the original story about the loan; Wulff hasn't yet responded.

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Merkel spokesman Georg Streiter said Wednesday the chancellor is "sure that the president will comment additionally on this himself."


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