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Germany

Prosecutors Investigate Bundesbank Scandal

Prosecutors in Frankfurt on Tuesday announced they were investigating whether Ernst Welteke, the president of the Bundesbank, had acted illegally by letting Dresdner Bank pay for a €7,661 ($9,232) hotel stay in Berlin over New Year's Eve 2001. Welteke had originally downplayed the matter after news reports surfaced over the weekend. Politicians across party lines have since called for his resignation and Welteke has paid back the money. On Tuesday, he said he might consider stepping down as head of the Bundesbank, which supervises Germany's banking industry. Before making a decision, he has asked the Bundesbank's board to investigate the accusations against him. While saying that a government minister would not be able to remain in office under similar circumstances, German Finance Minister Hans Eichel said Bundesbank officials should deal with the matter internally and emphasized that the ministry had no control over personnel decisions at the bank.

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