BERLIN (Reuters) – Two years in age separate Vladimir Putin, the German-speaking former KGB agent who spent five years in Dresden in East Germany’s twilight years, from Angela Merkel, the Russian-speaking physicist who grew up near East Berlin.
But familiarity with each other’s languages and countries, and a common childhood experience east of the Iron Curtain, have never produced close personal relations.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday the European Union (EU) would pursue accession talks with his country in good faith, despite some persistent disagreements.
Erdogan said on Tuesday the EU would lose Turkey if it did not grant it membership by 2023, the first time he has indicated how long Ankara might continue down the path towards EU entry.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A growing number of lawmakers are threatening to dent German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s authority a year before an election by rebelling in a Bundestag vote on help for near-bankrupt Greece.
Greece’s international creditors are due to announce concessions next month likely to include an additional two years for Athens to implement its austerity targets and reduce its debt pile, resulting in additional costs of billions of euros.
PRESEVO, Serbia/BERLIN, Oct 24 (Reuters) – From a dusty car
park in the Serbian border town of Presevo, ethnic Albanians
leave every Saturday in packed buses for western Europe, using
their precious freedom to enter the EU without visas.
For many of the passengers, visa-free travel to most
European Union countries offers the hope of leaving a life of
unemployment and poverty behind. A powerful group of EU member
states, however, wants to take this freedom away.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany remembered the Holocaust’s forgotten victims on Wednesday by opening a memorial in the heart of Berlin to the half a million ethnic Sinti and Roma murdered by the Nazis.
As the mournful strains of a solo violin sounded through the trees, political leaders and frail survivors approached a dark pool close to the German parliament building.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Punches still fly in the Berlin boxing ring where Johann “Rukeli” Trollmann once trained before the Nazis stripped him of his German light-heavyweight title and excluded him from boxing because of his “gypsy blood”.
Recognition for Trollmann, battered to death aged 36 in Neuengamme concentration camp in 1944, has been slow in coming, as it has been in general for the half a million ethnic Sinti and Roma murdered by the Nazis on racial grounds.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Shopkeeper Nevzat Cavan is rushing to meet orders for the white, fur-trimmed costumes worn by Muslim boys for their circumcision, relieved that Berlin’s city government has allowed the operations to resume.
For three months, the elaborate suits, capes and oriental slippers languished unsold due to a shock court ruling that raised the possibility of criminal charges being brought against families who had their sons circumcised.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany launched a national register of neo-Nazis on Wednesday as it takes steps to tackle failings that allowed known extremists to wage a seven-year racist killing spree.
The discovery of a small neo-Nazi cell in the former East German town of Zwickau last year and evidence linking it to the killings caused profound shame in Germany and highlighted its shortcomings in fighting right-wing extremism.
BERLIN, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Germany’s former first lady
Bettina Wulff has used a new autobiography to reject allegations
that she once worked as an escort and announced legal measures
to try to silence the rumours, which have spread over the
Wulff, 38, was Germany’s youngest first lady when her
husband Christian became president in 2010.
ABENSBERG, Germany (Reuters) – With three hours of drinking behind them when Angela Merkel entered the sweltering beer tent, the 3,000 Bavarians crammed around long wooden tables gave the German chancellor a warm and rowdy welcome.
After taking the politician’s obligatory swig, Merkel launched into her address, extolling traditional values close to Bavarian hearts and praising the predominantly Catholic state’s exemplary “laptop and lederhosen” economy.