Resignation prompts German mini-reshuffle: sources

2nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a mini-reshuffle of her cabinet on Wednesday a day after the popular defence minister quit after accusations he cheated in his doctorate, sources said.

Trusted lieutenant Thomas de Maiziere, 57, is moving from interior minister to replace Karl-Thedor zu Guttenberg at defence, sources in the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's governing Christian Democrats (CDU) told AFP.

Replacing him as interior minister will be Hans-Peter Friedrich, 53, parliamentary head of the CSU, zu Guttenberg's party and one of three parties in the governing coalition.

De Maiziere had served as Merkel's chief of staff in her first term from 2005 to 2009, moving him to interior minister after being re-elected in September 2009.

Zu Guttenberg, 39, dramatically resigned on Tuesday, depriving Merkel's government of its most popular minister with six state elections to fight between now and September. He has been stripped of his doctorate.

© 2011 AFP

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