© The Associated PressGerman Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
The head of the German Socialist Party "Die Linke", Gesine Loetzsch, claimed that it would have "irritated" the German citizens, had Guttenberg remained in office.
Members of the federal government, on the other hand, tried to understate the resignation. The Minister of Development, Free Democrat (FDP) member Dirk Niebel, called it "a consistent and respectable" decision. Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), Minister of Justice, denied that it would have serious effects on the stability of the government.
However, those supporters of Merkels' party, the CDU, who were upset by Guttenberg's scientific transgressions from the beginning, will keenly take note of her inactivity - not least, because the allegations of plagiarism directly tackle the core-values of the CDU's conservative support-base, such as truthfulness and responsibility.
At the same time, polls showed that a majority of the general population stuck by Guttenberg, who remained Germany's most popular politician even during the height of this crisis.
That is why his resignation comes at the worst possible time for the CDU and Merkel. Six regional elections are coming up in the next couple of months, the most important of them in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where the CDU has reigned for 58 years.