eBay scraps auction of Merkel’s old banger after joke bids

April 16, 2012
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The highest bid for the 22-year-old white Golf was $168,000/FILE
BERLIN, Apr 16 – Internet auction firm eBay said on Monday it had postponed the sale of an old Volkswagen Golf the seller says once belonged to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after establishing that bids were not serious.

“With the agreement of the seller, we decided to stop the auction after realising that some people had made joke bids,” Leonie Bechtoldt, an eBay spokeswoman, told AFP.

The highest bid for the 22-year-old white Golf with 190,000 kilometres (118,000 miles) on the clock was 129,000 euros ($168,000), added the spokeswoman.

The seller posted on the site a copy of the car’s registration details, showing it belonged to one Angela Merkel, living on Schoenhauser Allee in former East Berlin – years before she would become Forbes magazine’s most powerful woman in the world.

The vendor also posted several pictures of the vehicle – one outside Merkel’s chancellery office in Berlin. The sale seems “plausible,” wrote the respected Der Spiegel news weekly.

“The registration letter appears authentic, Merkel’s old address in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg is correct and there is documented evidence of Merkel driving a white Golf in the first half of the 1990s,” Spiegel said.

Bechtoldt said that after telephoning those who had expressed an interest, it became clear the bids were not genuine.

The auction would likely be repeated at the end of the week, she added, inviting serious bidders to contact the seller by fax.

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