Scandal threatens German president


Kai Diekmann, editor of Bild newspaper and recipient of threatening phone message from German president Christian Wulff

Any politician worth his salt knows: you don't pick fights with the press when they are reporting on your personal finances. Fight them over big policy issues, not the interest free loan you got from a rich supporter to buy a house.

German president Christian Wulff clearly forgot that when he called the editor of Germany's largest selling paper, Bild, Kai Diekmann, to complain about coverage of a loan from the wife of a rich friend.

Diekmann was not in and so Wulff left an apparently blistering voice message. the word "war" and threats of "judicial consequences" featured, according to The Guardian.

Big mistake, especially when combined with other attempts to gag the press. Today the very sober FT Deutschland editorial reads, "Everything taken together, it's slowly becoming too much ... his credibility has been hit by this plethora of mistakes."

Call for his resignation are multiplying across the political spectrum. Although the presidency is largely a ceremonial role, Wulff is seen as a key ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel. It will be no help to her if he is forced to resign.

Full report here.