'Shoe' protesters urge German president to quit

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'Shoe' protesters urge German president to quit

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It is a sign of contempt from the Arab world.

But it was in Germany, outside the presidential palace, that footwear was flashed to say the man in office must go.

Saturday’s shoe-waving sit-in was the latest sign of pressure on President Christian Wulff, dogged by a private loan scandal, although he looks determined to stay put.

“He seems to want to sit it out,” said demonstrator Ute Ettenfelder. “He has got absolutely no understanding of the situation. If you don’t have a political instinct, you should not be in politics. You can climb the ladder, maybe, but you shouldn’t stay.”

On television, Wulff has acknowledged his mistake in leaving a voicemail message for a newspaper editor in a bid to stop the damaging story being published. But the German paper ‘Bild’ went ahead and reported that Wulff had received a home loan in 2008 at cheap rates from the wife of a wealthy businessman friend.

The scandal dates from Wulff’s time as Lower Saxony’s conservative state premier. An ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, he is accused of misleading the state parliament by failing to reveal the private loan.