Alexandra's Feed
Jun 16, 2013

Merkel’s challenger wells up after yet more strife

BERLIN (Reuters) – Peer Steinbrueck, the main opposition challenger to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, choked up during an interview on Sunday when he was asked about what motivated him to carry on despite all the pressure and criticism of his campaign.

In an extraordinary display of emotion from a man known for his abrasive style, Steinbrueck struggled to find words, and sighed heavily. As his eyes welled up, the audience at the event by his Social Democrat (SPD) party stood up and applauded.

Jun 16, 2013

Germany’s Left party launches uncompromising election fight

DRESDEN (Reuters) – Germany’s Left party set an election platform attacking capitalism head on this weekend, avowing old school socialism and making any later coalition pact with the mainstream opposition seem all but impossible.

If the Left party and the center-left opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens joined forces they could match Merkel’s center-right government in strength, possibly even ousting the chancellor after the September 22 vote.

Jun 5, 2013

Diverse Turkey protesters vent anger, little agreement on alternative

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Read the scribbled messages stuck to the vandalized shell of a car in Taksim Square and a picture emerges of the sheer breadth of frustration being vented in Turkey’s fiercest anti-government protests for decades.

From gay rights to religious tolerance, abortion to freedom of the press, what began as a protest over the redevelopment of a leafy Istanbul park has surged into a tide of defiance against the perceived authoritarianism of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party.

Jun 5, 2013

Turkish deputy PM seeks to calm protests

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s deputy prime minister apologised on Tuesday for “excessive violence” by police in an effort to defuse days of unrest, comments which contrasted sharply with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s defiant dismissal of the protesters.

With Erdogan abroad and strikes and demonstrations still rumbling on after five days, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc sought to assuage some of the anger at the government’s initial hardline response to what began as a sit-in against plans to build on an Istanbul park.

Jun 4, 2013

Turkish deputy PM seeks to calm anti-government protests

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s deputy prime minister sought to mollify tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday by apologizing for a police crackdown on a peaceful protest that triggered five days of rioting across the country.

The comments by Bulent Arinc, who took charge of government after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan left on a visit to North Africa on Monday, contrasted with Erdogan’s defiant dismissal of the protesters as “looters”.

Jun 3, 2013

Woman in red becomes leitmotif for Istanbul’s female protesters

ISTANBUL, June 3 (Reuters) – In her red cotton summer dress,
necklace and white bag slung over her shoulder she might have
been floating across the lawn at a garden party; but before her
crouches a masked policeman firing teargas spray that sends her
long hair billowing upwards.

Endlessly shared on social media and replicated as a cartoon
on posters and stickers, the image of the woman in red has
become the leitmotif for female protesters during days of
violent anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul.

May 13, 2013

Merkel says has no secrets about her communist past

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel has dismissed claims in a new book that she was more actively committed to East Germany’s communist regime than she has acknowledged, saying she has never kept anything secret about her past.

The book, “The first life of Angela M.”, says that Merkel, who will seek a third term as chancellor in a federal election in September, was responsible for Marxist-Leninist education in a unit of the state’s youth wing, in a role that went beyond the cultural duties she has previously spoken of.

May 6, 2013

Neo-Nazi murder trial highlights German ‘blind spot’ for far right

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Wearing an elegant trouser-suit and an air of defiance, the suspected surviving member of a German neo-Nazi cell strode into a Munich court on Monday to stand trial for a series of racist murders that scandalized Germany and led to intense soul-searching about the lack of vigilance towards the far right.

Outside the high-security court room, where dozens had queued from before dawn to secure one of the few public places, hundreds of police stood guard, clashing briefly with protesters who said they had a right to follow one of Germany’s most hotly-anticipated court cases.

May 5, 2013

Germany riveted at start of neo-Nazi murder trial

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – The surviving member of a neo-Nazi cell blamed for a series of racist murders that scandalized Germany and shamed its authorities goes on trial on Monday in one of the most anticipated court cases in recent German history.

The chance discovery of the gang, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), which had gone undetected for more than a decade, has forced Germany to acknowledge it has a more militant and dangerous neo-Nazi fringe than previously thought, and exposed staggering intelligence failings.

May 5, 2013

Merkel’s FDP allies come out fighting, still need votes

NUREMBERG, Germany (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s Free Democrat (FDP) coalition allies finally got into their stride at a weekend congress, mauling the opposition instead of each other and holding up Germans’ prosperity compared to European peers as a reason to keep them in power.

With a federal election just under five months away, Merkel’s conservatives are strongest in the polls, yet she needs the Free Democrats to build on their recent recovery from three years of dismal ratings if she is to see off the opposition, who are neck and neck with her center-right bloc.