Christian Wulff was forced to step down as German President after it was disclosed that he received a $500,000 euro home loan from the wife of a wealthy German business person in 2008 after denying that the event ever took place, and then working to have the story spiked by the Bild newspaper.
Because of this revelation, and the overall view that he was living high on the hog of the German taxpayer, German prosecutors had asked that the immunity granted the President be removed.
The German Newspaper Spiegel summed it up this way:
Christian Wulff allowed rich friends to pay for his luxurious vacations. Christian Wulff flew in a higher class than the one he had been booked in, but without paying for it. Christian Wulff received a discounted mortgage loan for his house. Christian Wulff drove a car for which he had received a discount…The scandal lies in the accumulation of details. All of the revelations come together to form a picture, a picture of a character that revolves around three concepts: perks, upgrades and self-abasement. These concepts run counter to what is expected of a politician in a democracy. They especially run counter to what is expected of a German president.
Take perks, for example. Wulff literally seeks out discounts. He doesn’t want to pay the prices that a normal citizen would have to pay for his lifestyle, for such expenses as his house, his car and his vacations. Wulff uses his public offices to secure his discounts, which, in the case of a gift, amount to 100 percent. They give him the privilege to accept perks from rich friends or companies — who hope to get something in return.
Personally, I think that last sentence is more an assumption than anything else. What strikes me as weird is he’s the President of the country, can’t he have some kind of special access or discounts afforded to him, or is he expected to pay double the normal cost? Seems weird and nit-picky.
In Germany the President is largely a ceremonial position. Christian Wulff was appointed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, so this is seen as a political blow to her.
Christian Wulff, at 51, was the youngest person ever to be appointed German President.