German group withdraws Putin 'role model' prize
The organisers of a prominent German political prize reversed a decision Saturday to bestow the annual role model award on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, due to a public outcry.
The Werkstatt Deutschland organisation cited "massive criticism in the media and the political world" over its plans to give Putin the Quadriga Award that recognises "role models for enlightenment, dedication and the public good."
The group said it "profoundly regretted the news that (former Czech president) Vaclav Havel wanted to return his prize received in 2009" in protest at Putin's nomination.
© 2011 AFP