Resignation of a secretary of state on charges of favoritism
BERLIN (Reuters) – A senior German economy ministry official embroiled in a protection scandal has resigned from his post, his minister, Robert Habeck, said on Wednesday.
Patrick Gretchen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate, has been accused of helping recruit a friend and witness to her wedding to the head of the German Energy Agency for several weeks. , without making their relationship public.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck condemned the recruitment process but supported his right-hand man before the ministry launched an internal investigation.
The opposition called for the German official’s resignation after links between his family and the Oko-Institute, an organization that produces studies and reports for the ministry, emerged.
Robert Habeck said irregularities were found regarding government funding for a national climate protection project involving Patrik Gretchen’s sister.
“People make mistakes, this one mistake was too many,” said Robert Habeck during a press briefing, adding that he hoped to find a successor before the parliamentary recess this summer.
Patrik Gretchen and Robert Habeck are both from the Green Party, which has seen a decline in popularity in recent national elections due to Germans’ distrust of the cost of its climate policies.
(Reporting by Christian Kramer, Riham Alkousa and Friederike Heine; French version Zhifan Liu, Editing by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)