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60% say Merkel’s party damaged by plagiarism claims


More than 60 per cent of Germans  believe the plagiarism scandal which forced Angela Merkel’s Education Minister to quit has damaged both the Chancellor and her ruling conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union.

Annette Schavan, a close political ally of Ms Merkel, stepped down on Saturday after Düsseldorf University ruled that she had “systematically and intentionally” copied parts of a doctoral thesis.

Ms Schavan, 57, rejected the university’s claim and pledged to fight the allegations.

But, after a meeting with Ms Merkel, Ms Schavan announced her decision to leave office.