German plagiarism scandal politician quits

Koch-Mehrin interviewed by the BBC

From the BBC:

11 May 2011 Last updated at 21:37 GMT

German MEP Silvana Koch-Mehrin quits in plagiarism row

Germany’s Silvana Koch-Mehrin has resigned as a vice-president of the European Parliament, after claims that she plagiarised her university thesis.

Ms Koch-Mehrin, aged 40, also stepped down from the board of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP).

The University of Heidelberg is re-examining Ms Koch-Mehrin’s academic work on currency unions.

In March, German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was forced to quit over plagiarism charges.

Mr Guttenberg, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), was also stripped of his PhD by the University of Bayreuth.

‘Fresh blow’

On Wednesday, Ms Koch-Mehrin said in a statement that she also resigned as chairwoman of the FDP in the European parliament.

“I hope to make it easier for my party to make a fresh start with a new leadership team,” she said.

The move comes after an investigative website – VroniPlag Wikiraised doubts about the liberal politician’s 2001 thesis, called Historical Currency Unions between the Economy and Politics.

Ms Koch-Mehrin allegedly failed to source the 227-page document properly.

She has not publicly commented on the allegations.

The resignation is seen by some German analysts as a fresh blow to the FDP – the junior party in Mrs Merkel’s coalition – which is trying to recover from plunging popularity ratings.

Last month, party leader Guido Westerwelle was forced to step aside. A new head is expected to be chosen later this week.

For the second time this year, a German university has withdrawn a Ph.D awarded to a politician. The University of Heidelberg said it had no choice but to withdraw the title from Silvana Koch-Mehrin due to plagiarism: here.

Regional CDU Official Speaks Out: Merkel Under Fire Within Her Own Party: here.

German MP Petra Hinz did not finish high school, falsely claimed to have finished university law study: here.


32 thoughts on “German plagiarism scandal politician quits

  1. Another politician found plagiarising

    Germany: A prominent right-wing politician was stripped of her doctorate on Wednesday after a university found that she had plagiarised parts of her dissertation.

    The University of Heidelberg’s decision against Silvana Koch-Mehrin follows the resignation in March of defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who was found to have copied large parts of his thesis. Mr Guttenberg was also stripped of his doctorate.

    Ms Koch-Mehrin quit as vice-president of the European Parliament last month and resigned from the leadership board of the Free Democratic Party, the junior party in Germany’s governing coalition.


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