November 11th, 2008

Charlotte Knobloch: Prime Minister Wulff’s statement is “unacceptable”

Munich/Berlin/Hannover – The President of the Central Council has harshly criticised Lower Saxony's Prime Minister, Christian Wulff (CDU), for having spoken of "pogrom atmosphere" in connection with the debate over chief executives' salaries. "Unfortunately, there are still outrageous comparisons like this," Charlotte Knobloch told Dortmund's Ruhr Nachrichten daily. "These blunders are unacceptable," she said and added that some people in Germany simply lacked historical awareness. Stephan J. Kramer, Secretary General of the Central Council, told Spiegel Online, "What makes Mr Wulff's statement especially outrageous is the fact that there has recently been a discussion sparked by a similar statement by the head of the I fo Institute for Economic Research, Hans-Werner Sinn." Kramer said Wulff should ask himself whether he was fit to be Lower Saxony's Prime Minister.

Christian Wulff said in the N24 talk show "Studio Friedman" late Thursday, "I don't think a pogrom atmosphere should be created against someone who pays €40 million in taxes and secures tens of thousands of jobs." Wulff said he regretted having used the words "pogrom atmosphere". The day after the talk show, he apologised, calling his utterance a "lapse", according to his Office. The head of the association of Jewish communities of Lower Saxony, Michael Fürst, accepted Wulff's apologies, whereas Kramer commented, "I find it difficult to believe that the statement was the result of emotional excitement." (11.11.2008)