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Show of shoes against German president

About 150 people waved their shoes in front of the residence of Christian Wulff, the German president, following the controversy about his non-disclosure of a home loan.

The protesters gathered along a sidewalk in front of Bellevue Palace on Saturday as part of a demonstration organised on Facebook under the motto: "Show Wulff your shoes - Shoe for you Mr President!"

"We only want to hold the shoes up, not throw them," said one organizer, Juergen Jaenen, referring to a 2008 incident in which an enraged Iraqi journalist threw his shoe at then US president George Bush.

Wulff has come under increasing criticism for weeks as it has emerged that, when he was the premier of the state of Lower Saxony, he failed to report a house loan received from the wife of a wealthy friend.

Further questions have been raised as to whether he used his influence to convert that money into a commercial loan at cheap rates.

Additionally, Wulff has become embroiled in a war of words with Bild, a major mass-circulation newspaper, for a phone call in which he attempted to get the publication's editor to delay or stop a story about the loans.

Although Wulff's position is largely ceremonial, criticism of him is embarassing for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who nominated him for the job.


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