Further Setback For German Chancellor Merkel As Hamburg Mayor Resigns
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a further setback on Sunday when Hamburg's popular mayor Ole von Beust resigned.
Von Beust has been a pillar of strength for Merkel and her Christian Democrats for the last decade.
The northern port city of Hamburg is one of Germany's 16 federal states. The departure of the charismatic mayor is the sixth state leader in Merkels’s party to resign within the last year.
Merkel and her centre-right coalition are already facing a steep erosion of support in the opinion polls.
Many Germans hold that Merkel’s government has not done enough to tackle the country’s record breaking budget deficit.
[Ole von Beust, Hamburg Mayor]:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to inform you that I'll be stepping down as mayor of Hamburg effective August 25, 2010. Of course the chancellor and party leader, Dr. Angela Merkel has been informed.”
Von Beust is leaving after nine years running Germany's second largest city. Local media cite fatigue as the main reason.