German President Koehler to Quit After Afghanistan Criticism

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, May 31, 2010.

  1. May 31 (Bloomberg) -- German President Horst Koehler unexpectedly announced his resignation with immediate effect, citing public criticism of remarks he made about Germany’s military mission in Afghanistan.

    Koehler, a former director general of the International Monetary Fund, suggested in a May 22 interview with Germany’s Deutschlandradio that German military involvement is also necessary to protect the country’s economic interests.

    Announcing his resignation in Berlin today, Koehler told reporters that the criticism “lacks any foundation” and “undermines the necessary respect for my office.”

    While Koehler’s role as head of state is mainly ceremonial, his decision to quit leaves a constitutional gap that may pose problems for Chancellor Angela Merkel. Koehler, a former member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats who resigned his party membership to run for office, signs bills into law after they clear both houses of parliament.

    “He’s apparently got a very thin skin,” Hugo Mueller- Vogg, who published a Koehler biography in 2005, said on N24 television. “He really thought he could change something in this country. But then he realized that his office is mainly ceremonial.”

    Koehler, in the radio interview, said an export-oriented country like Germany “must also understand that in certain cases, in an emergency, military operations are necessary to protect our interests.” He cited as examples maintaining free trade routes and settling regional instability that could have a “negative” impact on Germany’s “trade, jobs and income.”

    His job is not only ceremonial. He signs bills into law. Especially European bailout bills....:cool:
  2. Has he taken a job with GS or Deutsche Bank? :confused: :D
  3. Are there any German readers that can clarify what is happening in Germany now?

    I suspect there is more to the story.

    Google news reports:

    "The ECB's Bank Warning
    Wall Street Journal - The euro took another dive Tuesday, pushed down by a warning from the European Central Bank's on the state of European banks. The central message, couched as it is in central-bank-speak about "hazardous contagion channels and adverse feedback loops," ..."

    I imagine the Greek rescue plan is controversial, other political personnel changes may follow, and the composition of the European Union may change.