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German minister offers to resign if university revokes title

August 15, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — A center-left minister in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government says she will resign if her PhD is revoked over plagiarism allegations.

Franziska Giffey, a former mayor of one of Berlin’s toughest districts, was considered a rising star in German politics and her Social Democratic Party when she was appointed families minister in 2017.

But allegations of plagiarism have prompted Berlin’s Free University to review her 2010 dissertation, a process that’s expected to be completed later this year.

Giffey’s office said Thursday that she won’t run for the leadership of her party due to the ongoing investigation, and that she would give up her ministerial post “if her doctoral title is revoked.”

Poor election results have prompted some within the Social Democrats to suggest the party should quit Merkel’s government.

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