German Health Minister Resigns; Alleged Spy In Ministry Uncovered With PM-Germany-Genscher
BONN, Germany (AP) _ Health Minister Gerda Hasselfeldt announced her resignation today, saying the arrest of a close aide for allegedly spying for Poland had damaged her health.
Ms. Hasselfeldt, 41, one of three women in Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Cabinet, was to be replaced by Horst Seehofer, a top deputy in the Labor Ministry. Both are members of the Christian Social Union.
Her resignation came on the same day as Hans-Dietrich Genscher announced he was stepping down as foreign minister after 18 years.
Kohl told reporters Ms. Hallelfeldt gave him a letter of resignation during the weekend. Her letter said the ″burdens of office, together with the suspicion of spying against one of my closest aides, damaged my health and my ability to work,″ Kohl said.
Last week, the head of the Health Ministry’s planning department, Reinhard Hoppe, was arrested on suspicion of spying for Poland. Hoppe had served with Ms. Hasselfeldt in her previous Cabinet posting as housing minister and moved to the Health Ministry with her in 1991.
Ms. Hasselfeldt did not speak to reporters today. The government said she had left Bonn to stabilize her health. No details were given about her health.