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MessagePosté le: Ven 5 Mai - 14:20 (2017)     Sujet du message: news co uk google

Germany’s defence minister has come under fire after a series of scandals in the armed forces involving sexual harassment, bullying and a far-right plot for a racially motivated terror attack.

Ursula von der Leyen, often tipped as a successor to Angela Merkel, on Wednesday said she bore “responsibility for everything that happens in the Bundeswehr”, Germany’s armed forces, after initially blaming weak army leadership.

“It is my responsibility to remedy abuses we know about, which I am currently doing,” she told the tabloid Bild.

She has called for in-depth investigations to deal with the cases.

The most prominent scandal involves a 28-year-old soldier identified as Franco A, who was arrested a week ago on suspicion of planning an attack thought to be targeting asylum seekers and leftwing politicians, including the Social Democrat interior minister, Heiko Maas, and the former German president Joachim Gauck. A 24-year-old student in possession of explosives was also detained.

The soldier registered as a Syrian refugee last January, applied for asylum and was drawing money from the state. It is believed he planned to carry out the attack and leave a trail to his fake identity.

A defence ministry spokesman said Von der Leyen had cancelled a trip to New York and Washington DC to focus on the Franco A investigation. She had been due to meet with UN officials to discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, as well as her US counterpart, James Mattis.

The Social Democrats, Merkel’s junior coalition partner, have stopped short of calling for the minister’s resignation, but their candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, said Von der Leyen could not evade responsibility.

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MessagePosté le: Ven 5 Mai - 14:20 (2017)     Sujet du message: Publicité

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