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You're reading: German president resigns in setback for Merkel
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In a curt five-minute statement at the Bellevue presidential palace, Christian Wulff acknowledged that he had lost the trust of the German people, making it impossible to continue in a role that is meant to serve as a moral compass for the nation.

"For this reason it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president at home and abroad as required," said Wulff, standing next to his wife Bettina.

Merkel postponed a trip to Rome where she was to hold talks on the euro zone’s debt crisis with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. She made a brief statement after Wulff’s announcement, saying she regretted his departure and would seek talks with opposition parties to find a candidate to replace him.

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