(Libra Bunda) THE GUARDIAN: Christian Wulff under pressure over warning to Bild editor about ‘judicial consequences’ of printing story about his finances
Germany’s president, Christian Wulff, is facing growing pressure to stand down following damaging revelations that he tried to browbeat the editor of the country’s top tabloid to kill an unflattering story about him.
Germany’s press were united in their condemnation of Wulff after it emerged on Monday that he had threatened the editor of Bild, Kai Diekmann.
In a furious voicemail message, Wulff told Diekmann there would be “war” unless he spiked an article on the president’s personal finances.
Wulff, a key ally of Angela Merkel, the chancellor, and a Christian Democrat like her, accepted a large private loan from the wife of a wealthy businessman.
Although the arrangement was made before Wulff became president in 2010, it has fuelled claims that he lacks the personal judgment needed for the job.
In December Bild discovered that Wulff had taken a €500,000 (£420,000) loan from the wife of a close friend, Egon Geerkens, at an interest rate of 4% – 1% below the usual bank rate.
After discovering Bild was about to publish, Wulff tried unsuccessfully to reach Diekmann, who was away on a trip. He then left him a long, haranguing message, threatening “judicial consequences” and a “definitive breach” in relations with Bild‘s publishing group, Axel Springer. Two days later Wulff phoned back from a tour in the Gulf to apologise. Wulff, who took over the largely ceremonial role in June 2010, faced further embarrassing questions about his behaviour when another Springer newspaper, the Welt am Sonntag, revealed he had summoned one of its veteran reporters to a dressing down at his presidential residence. Wulff had taken umbrage at a forthcoming interview with his little-known half-sister.
The influential FT Deutschland newspaper called on Wulff to resign. The Süddeutsche newspaper described his dealings with the media as “naive and brazen”, observing coldly: “The office is obviously too big for Wulff.” »
sounds like the plot to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”