German 'cut-and-paste' minister quits
Germany's popular Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, stripped last month of his doctoral title after accusations of plagiarism, announced his resignation on Tuesday.
"I thank with all my heart the large majority of the German population, the many members of the (party), the head of the party, and in particular the soldiers who had supported me until today not to resign," zu Guttenberg said.
"And I give particular thanks to the chancellor (Angela Merkel) for all the support she has given me and her great trust and understanding," he said in Berlin.
"I was always ready to fight. But I have reached the limits of my strength."
The suave aristocrat, 39, who has been dubbed "Baron Cut-And-Paste" and "Zu Googleberg" by the media, was one of the most popular ministers in Merkel's cabinet and his departure is a blow to her.
He had been under growing pressure to resign from the media, from academics and even from figures within his own party since the scandal broke two weeks ago.
© 2011 AFP