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German politician may auction his beard
May 5, 2008 / 12:50 PM / 9 years ago

German politician may auction his beard

<p>Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Kurt Beck addresses a news conference following a party board meeting in Berlin April 14, 2008. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of Germany’s Social Democrats, who has ambitions to be his country’s next leader, is thinking about donating his beard to charity, but is not quite sure.

Kurt Beck, who as party leader has a strong claim to lead the SPD into next year’s national election, said in a panel discussion in Mainz that he might shave off his beard to raise 1 million euros ($1.5 million) for charity, the newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported.

“It must be serious and not turn into a spectacle,” he told the paper. “The event would have to help the really needy.”

“I‘m still thinking about it”.

Beck’s beard, like the rest of his hair, is short, grey and bristly. He recently told reporters his wife Roswitha, a hairdresser, had said he had “hair like a guinea pig”.

He currently trails conservative chancellor Angela Merkel by over 50 points in personal opinion poll ratings -- leading to speculation that he may face a challenge with his party for the right to run against her.

Reporting by Kerstin Gehmlich; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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