Home Business Economy & Politics German Development Minister Dirk Niebel in Afghan carpet gaffe

German Development Minister Dirk Niebel in Afghan carpet gaffe


German Development Minister Dirk Niebel who sent home a big Afghan carpet free of charge aboard an intelligence service plane has drawn criticism from opposition politicians.

A spokesman for Minister Dirk Niebel says the customs duty required for the carpet will be paid.

Dirk Niebel bought the 30 kg (66-pound) carpet for himself in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Spiegel news website reports. It cost about $1,400.

Import duty was not paid when it arrived in Berlin last month.

German Development Minister Dirk Niebel who sent home a big Afghan carpet free of charge aboard an intelligence service plane has drawn criticism from opposition politicians

German Development Minister Dirk Niebel who sent home a big Afghan carpet free of charge aboard an intelligence service plane has drawn criticism from opposition politicians

The opposition Social Democrats (SPD) have demanded an explanation from the minister. He is a member of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), junior coalition partners with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats.

Dirk Niebel had left the 9 sq m (97 sq ft) carpet at the German embassy because he could not get it on a scheduled flight. Then the German foreign intelligence service (BND) offered to fly it back to Berlin as a favor, German media report.