Report: Treasurer of Merkel’s party steps down amid questions of money kept abroad

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BERLIN – The treasurer for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party says he is resigning his position amid questions over money he kept abroad.

Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper on Thursday quoted Helmut Linssen as saying that he decided “in the interests of my party and my family” to step down from the post he’s held since 2010. The dpa news agency quoted the Christian Democrats’ general secretary, Peter Tauber, as saying Linssen had served the party well.

Linssen reportedly kept some 420,000 euros ($566,790) in the Bahamas and Panama between 1997 and 2004, through a bank in Luxembourg. He’s defended himself saying “keeping money in foreign countries is not prohibited” and that he wasn’t avoiding taxes.

He says the money was an inheritance from his parents, on which they had already paid tax.

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