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Berlin, May 18 – Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck has dismissed his State Secretary Patrick Graichen amid a nepotism scandal concerning the selection of project partners and job positions.
Last year, Habeck’s Green Party colleague Graichen signed off financial support for a project by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) in Berlin. This was a clear conflict of interests, as his sister is on the board of the NGO’s state chapter, Xinhua news agency reported.
“It’s one mistake too many,” Habeck said on Wednesday at a press conference, adding that the dismissal of Graichen was “a far-reaching, difficult decision”.
Graichen was already facing growing criticism after a friend who had been the best man at his wedding was nominated to become the next managing director of the state-owned German Energy Agency (dena).
“There is no question that a mistake was made in this,” Habeck said. The job position is to be put out to tender again so that the agency may operate “free from suspicion of conflicts of interest”.