German ex-FM faces plagiarism claims

Parliamentary faction leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Germany’s former foreign minister and top Social Democrat, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has faced allegations that he plagiarized parts of his PhD thesis.

The allegations came after university professor Uwe Kamenz said that he had discovered 500 areas of suspicious œsimilarities” when comparing the former minister™s 1991 doctoral thesis in law with some 100 sources.

His claim was published in news weekly Focus.

The University of Giessen in central Hesse state said that it would look into the allegation made by Kamenz who found unsourced text passages from other works by employing a special software.

The university is due to make a decision by Monday on how to proceed.

Steinmeier, 57, who is the head of the Social Democrats’ (SPD) parliamentary group, on Sunday rejected as the allegations as œabsurd.”

œShould Giessen University decide to launch a review, I would view this with great serenity,” he added.

One of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s closest allies, Annette Schavan who served as education minister resigned in February after her former university stripped her of doctorate degree over plagiarism charges.

The University of Dusseldorf ruled she had œsystematically and intentionally” plagiarized parts of her dissertation that was completed in 1980.

On January 24, the university opened an investigation into the issue after a board of monitors found questionable passages on 60 of the 351 pages of her dissertation.

The review was started after an unknown blogger raised the plagiarism claims in 2012.

Another plagiarism row also hit Merkel™s government in 2011, forcing her defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to step down after it was proven that large parts of his doctoral thesis had been copied.

MR/HN/AS

Copyright: Press TV