BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s justice minister said on Thursday the country’s Roman Catholic Church appeared to be shrinking from independent scrutiny after bishops sacked a top criminologist they had hired to investigate clerical sexual abuse.
Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said the German bishops had initially committed to an outside study after devastating abuse revelations in 2010 which saw 600 people file claims against priests, but said they now seemed to want to control which findings would be published.
BERLIN, Jan 9 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
said on Wednesday she expected talks on a bailout deal for
Cyprus to take time, while a senior member of her coalition said
parliament was not yet ready to approve any financial aid.
Cyprus, whose economic woes stem from its banks’ heavy
exposure to crisis-racked Greece, requested financial help from
the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last
June. It is not yet clear when the aid will be finalised.
STUTTGART (Reuters) – Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP) struggled to show a united front on Sunday just two weeks before a crucial state election, which could see their leader booted out if they fail to win enough support to gain Lower Saxony assembly seats.
The junior partner in Merkel’s center-right government is also in danger of missing the threshold for representation in the national parliament in September’s federal election, which would leave the Chancellor having to form a coalition with either the opposition Social Democrats or the Greens.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Free Democrats have spent more time in government than any other party since World War Two. Now, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners are struggling to avoid dropping out of parliament altogether.
With its novice leader under fire, the liberal, pro-business party meets in Stuttgart this weekend to try to stop the rot before a general election that could wipe it out.
BERLIN, Dec 6 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
called upon ally Israel to work for a two-state solution with
the Palestinians and avoid one-sided actions that endanger
prospects for peace.
Germany has traditionally been one of Israel’s strongest
supporters but an Israeli plan to build 3,000 settler homes in
one of the most sensitive areas of the West Bank has caused a
storm of international protest and open criticism from Berlin.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Benjamin Netanyahu faces a dressing down from Angela Merkel on Wednesday over his plans to build more Israeli settlements, a policy that has incensed Europe and left even Germany, one of Israel’s strongest allies, questioning his commitment to peace.
The issue will overshadow consultations between the German and Israeli governments on issues ranging from Israel’s defense and security to greater cooperation in science and research and could further strain already cool working relations between Netanyahu and the German chancellor.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany said it would abstain in a vote on Thursday at the U.N. General Assembly that is seen as an indirect recognition of Palestinian statehood, citing its special responsibility to Israel and fears that the move could hamper peace.
“The chancellor and I did not take this decision lightly,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German inflation eased slightly to 1.9 percent in November, bringing it into line with the European Central Bank’s target ceiling for the first time since July and giving it some leeway to cut rates.
Economist said the fall in inflation, helped by lower fuel costs, might also help reassure the German public that the ECB’s policies to tackle the euro zone’s debt crisis, such as its controversial bond buying program, did not threaten price stability in Germany.
BERLIN, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s upper house of
parliament on Friday rejected a deal with Switzerland to tax
assets stashed by German citizens in Swiss bank accounts,
dashing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of having the lucrative
agreement in place by 2013.
Despite a last-ditch appeal to the assembly by Finance
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the agreement was rejected by
states run by the opposition Greens and Social Democrats, who
said the legislation would have let off tax evaders too easily.
BERLIN, Nov 9 (Reuters) – German lawmakers expressed alarm
on Friday at the state of human rights in Russia since Vladimir
Putin returned to the Kremlin in May and urged Chancellor Angela
Merkel to press Moscow on its treatment of critics when she
visits next week.
A parliamentary motion, written by Merkel’s centre-right
coalition parties, asks the German government to campaign for
greater democracy and rule of law in Russia, as well as seeking
just treatment for anti-Putin campaigners such as jailed members
of the punk group Pussy Riot.