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Germany

Wulff calls for fund to help families of Love Parade victims

German President Christian Wulff has called for aid money to help family members of the Love Parade victims. While Wulff refused to point fingers, he hinted that Duisburg's mayor should consider resigning.

Christian Wulff

Wulff wants aid money for victims' families

German President Christian Wulff has proposed the immediate founding of a fund to support the families of the Love Parade tragedy.

Talking to the national Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Wulff also suggested appointing an ombudsperson to address the difficulties facing the parties involved in the crushing death of 21 German and international visitors at last Saturday's Love Parade techno festival in Duisburg.

"We now all have a responsibility to those in Duisburg," Wulff added.

The blame game

Wulff did not refrain from participating in the ongoing blame game underlying the media and political discussion of the tragedy, which has been calling for Duisburg's Lord Mayor Adolf Sauerland to take the fall.

"We all know that not just one person is responsible," said Wulff, at the same time indirectly suggesting that Sauerland should resign.

"Independent of concrete, personal culpability, there is still a political responsibility," Wulff said, adding that Sauerland should "weigh closely" what that meant.

As Germany searches for someone to accept blame for the tragedy, Love Parade organizer Rainer Schaller and Duisburg city authorities have continued to point fingers at one another.

Both Schaller and Sauerland have promised to accept responsibility for their roles in the Love Parade disaster, but say their first responsibility lies in aiding the police investigation into the tragedy.

mourners in protest t-shirts carry flowers in a processional in Duisburg

Thousands mourned in Duisburg Saturday


Sauerland absent from memorials

Sauerland and Schaller were not present Saturday when thousands gathered in Duisburg to commemorate the Love Parade's victims. In attendance at a religious service in Duisburg's Salvator Church were President Wulff, along with Chancellor Angela Merkel, State Premier Hannelore Kraft and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

After the church memorial, an estimated 5,000 people gathered Saturday afternoon in a mourning processional to the site of the tragedy. Organizers of a second processional on Sunday collected funds to erect a commemorative plaque.

Author: David Levitz (AFP/ots/Reuters)

Editor: Martin Kuebler

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