Germany's 'cut and paste' minister drops PhD

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Germany's 'cut and paste' minister drops PhD

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Germany’s beleaguered Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg temporarily dropped his PhD title on Friday amid claims of plagiarism.

German media outlets have come forward with parts of the thesis which they say are of questionable origin, but zu Guttenberg denies deliberately copying parts of his law dissertation.

He cancelled a key election rally in Saxony-Anhalt on Thursday but this morning he defended his actions.

“Without question, it (the thesis) contains mistakes. And I am the most unhappy person for every single one of these mistakes,” zu Guttenberg told reporters in Berlin.

“At no time, however, has there been a deliberate deception. Neither has there been a case where I deliberately did not mark the copyright.”

In a recent poll, zu Guttenberg ranked as the country’s most popular politician.

The aristocrat with a pop-star image has emerged unscathed from a number of setbacks over his handling of military affairs, including the death of a cadet aboard a naval training ship.

This scandal, however, may cost him his job with the opposition leading calls for him to step down.