Alexandra's Feed
Jul 31, 2014

Turks abroad begin voting in landmark presidential election

BERLIN (Reuters) – Turks in Germany streamed into Berlin’s Olympic stadium on Thursday, seizing the chance to vote from abroad for the first time in an election Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan hopes will make him Turkey’s first directly-elected president.

Turkey itself goes to the polls on Aug. 10 to choose between Erdogan and two opposition candidates. But expatriates – in the past allowed to vote only at Turkey’s borders – are casting their ballots over the next four days.

Jul 23, 2014

Germany promises change as arms sales draw scrutiny

BERLIN, July 23 (Reuters) – For lawmaker Jan van Aken,
little symbolizes more potently all that he finds indefensible
about Germany’s arms exports than the German and French-made
anti-tank missile that he was shown in northern Syria.

From its serial number, he believes the 1970s MILAN rocket
was sold legitimately by France to then Syrian leader Hafez
al-Assad. After decades in a depot, it fell into the hands of al
Qaeda-linked militants in the uprising against Assad’s son
Bashar.

Jul 21, 2014

Turkey’s Kurdish candidate says peace does not hinge on Erdogan

BERLIN/ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s peace process with Kurdish militants will go on whether or not Tayyip Erdogan wins the presidency in August, his pro-Kurdish rival said, but he declined to reveal whether he would back the prime minister in the event of a second-round run-off.

Selahattin Demirtas, the presidential candidate for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is running a distant third in the polls. He left unclear which of the leading candidates he might support.

Jul 7, 2014

German industrial output posts surprise slump in May

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s industrial output fell 1.8 percent on the month in May, its biggest drop in more than two years, as holiday days ate into working hours, construction slumped and geopolitics weighed, casting a shadow on its role as euro zone motor.

The drop was a surprise and sent the euro weaker – the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll was for industrial output to be unchanged. The economy ministry also slightly downwardly revised April data to -0.3 percent from a previous -0.2 percent.

Jun 29, 2014

‘Grieving Parents’ statues wend way across Europe for war dead

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German Expressionist sculptor Kaethe Kollwitz, whose work was so anti-war the Nazis banned it, labored for 15 years to express in stone her grief at losing her 18-year-old son Peter at the start of World War One.

“Grieving Parents,” the set of statues she finally placed at his grave in Flanders in 1932, has now inspired a memorial tour from Belgium to Russia that Germany has organized to honor the dead of that conflict and the Second World War that followed it.

Jun 18, 2014

Jihadists back from Syria are ‘deadly danger’ to Europe, Germany warns

BERLIN (Reuters) – Battle-hardened jihadists returning from Syria’s civil war are no longer an ‘abstract threat’ but a ‘deadly danger’ to Europe, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Wednesday.

An estimated 2,000 Europeans, including some 320 German citizens, have travelled to Syria to fight alongside Islamist rebels, he said while presenting the German domestic intelligence service’s (BfV) annual report.

May 23, 2014

Erdogan visit brings Turkey’s divisions to streets of Cologne

BERLIN (Reuters) – A visit by Tayyip Erdogan to Cologne on Saturday to address thousands of expatriate Turks threatens to bring Turkey’s political tensions to German streets, despite an appeal by Chancellor Angela Merkel for him to adopt a sensitive tone.

Some German lawmakers are concerned by what they see as Erdogan’s inflammatory language and authoritarian behavior in dealing with demonstrations and in handling a corruption scandal that touched on former ministers. His expected candidacy in August presidential elections could further raise passions.

May 20, 2014

Germany hopes for high voter turnout to stabilize Ukraine

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday can help bring stability, Germany’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, but it is crucial that as many people as possible vote to reinforce its democratic legitimacy.

The days left to the vote must be used to ensure polling stations can open and people can vote free from intimidation, Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference in Berlin, but he warned the situation in parts of the east remained fragile.

May 15, 2014

Germany’s eurosceptics gain support but ‘populist’ tag stings

BRANDENBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Since the agony of just missing out on parliament seats in the German election last year, the leader of Germany’s eurosceptic party has been branded a “salon fascist”, seen 40 percent of his posters destroyed, and encountered protests wherever he goes.

But Bernd Lucke, a 51-year-old economics professor, finally has the consolation of seeing his Alternative for Germany (AfD) climb to its highest ever poll rating of 7 percent – 10 days before Germans vote for the European Parliament, and enough to win a handful of seats.

Apr 25, 2014

Merkel tells Putin Russia has not done enough to ease Ukraine crisis

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel said on Friday that she had told Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone that Moscow had not done enough to urge separatists in Ukraine to disarm, and that further sanctions against Russia must be contemplated.

The European Union and Group of Seven (G7) nations would consider sanctions “within the framework of the second stage of sanctions” she said at a news conference in Berlin with Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, referring to a three-stage scheme.