Europe

Aide to German minister resigns after dressing-down

The chief spokesman for German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has resigned after a dressing-down by his boss which became an internet hit.

Mr Schaeuble, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said he had accepted Michael Offer's resignation.

Last week, cameras recorded Mr Schaeuble scolding Mr Offer for failing to distribute figures to journalists.

The minister left the news conference, saying he would not return until the figures were passed around.

"I said 20 minutes ago it would be good to distribute the figures," he told Mr Offer as the Berlin press corps looked on.

"Stop talking Mr Offer and get on with handing out the figures."

Mr Schaeuble, who uses a wheelchair, then left the room saying: "I'm leaving this press conference until you have distributed the figures."

A clip of the row became a hit on video-sharing website YouTube, with more than 300,000 views.

Germany's Bild newspaper said it had recorded nearly 200,000 hits on its video of the incident.

Since the incident, Mr Schaeuble has told Bild he "perhaps overreacted".

He has recently been in the news for lengthy absences from the public eye for illnesses, prompting speculation he may resign.

Mr Schaeuble has been confined to a wheelchair since an attack by a mentally ill man who fired three shots at him in 1990.

Mr Schaeuble is due to attend, along with Chancellor Merkel, a summit of the Group of 20 economic powers in Seoul on Wednesday.

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