Alexandra's Feed
Feb 23, 2013

Merkel backs new EU talks for Turkey but has doubts

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she favored new talks to revive Turkey’s stalled European Union membership bid, following warnings by the Turkish prime minister its half-century wait was “unforgivable”.

Yet Merkel, who favors a “privileged partnership” for Turkey in place of full EU membership, stressed the outcome of Ankara’s talks with Brussels should be open, and she remained skeptical about whether Turkey should join.

Feb 22, 2013

Germany not trying to browbeat Europe – president

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s president reassured Europeans on Friday that they had nothing to fear from Berlin’s dominant role in the continent and said closer integration would lead to a more European Germany rather than a Europe forced into Germany’s image.

Germany’s leading role in setting conditions for bailing out profligate euro zone states has sparked deep anti-German sentiment across southern Europe, with some there drawing parallels to the Nazi period when Germany conquered much of the continent.

Feb 22, 2013

EU doubts, Kurdish rebels cloud Merkel visit to Turkey

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel embarks on a tricky visit to Turkey on Sunday looking increasingly isolated in her personal opposition to its European Union entry bid and facing charges from Ankara that Germany is soft on Kurdish militants.

Her two-day visit occurs at a sensitive moment – a change of president in France is bringing new momentum to Turkey’s EU membership application, just as Ankara finds itself forced to re-engage more actively with the West as the conflict raging in Syria badly strains ties with its eastern neighbours.

Feb 11, 2013

Catholics shocked as pope resigns, but little emotion

BERLIN/ROME (Reuters) – Catholics reacted with shock on Monday to the first papal abdication since the Middle Ages, although the mood among many was one of respect rather than the outpouring of emotion which greeted the death of his beloved predecessor John Paul II.

In Germany, the pope’s home country, where eight years ago the election of the first German pope in more than 1,000 years was greeted with the headline “We are Pope!”, there was surprise but little overt emotion.

Feb 10, 2013

New film of Diderot’s The Nun focuses on liberty struggle

BERLIN (Reuters) – Two adolescents’ experiences of reading the French 18th century novel ‘The Nun’ lie at the heart of new film of Denis Diderot’s book, in which a teenage girl is sent to a convent and browbeaten into taking the veil.

The first is that of director Guillaume Nicloux himself, who read the book as a youngster just as he was embarking on his own personal rebellion after a religious education. The second is that of his teenage daughter, who convinced him the story of Sister Suzanne’s struggle still resonated in the modern world.

Feb 8, 2013

German 2012 trade surplus soars despite weak December

BERLIN, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Germany’s trade surplus was the
second highest in more than 60 years in 2012, pointing to an
underlying resilience in Europe’s largest economy, although both
imports and exports disappointed in the last month of the year.

Exports rose just 0.3 percent in December from November,
compared with a forecast rise of 1.3 percent, and imports fell
1.3 percent against expectations for a rise of 1.4 percent
.

Feb 3, 2013

Iran hedges on nuclear talks with six powers or U.S.

MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it was open to a U.S. offer of direct talks on its nuclear program and that six world powers had suggested a new round of nuclear negotiations this month, but without committing itself to either proposal.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve a dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West suspects is intended to give Iran the capability to build a nuclear bomb, have been all but deadlocked for years, while Iran has continued to announce advances in the program.

Feb 3, 2013

Barak says reported Syria strike shows Israel is serious

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday an attack on a Syrian arms complex showed Israel was serious about preventing the flow of heavy weapons into Lebanon, appearing to acknowledge for the first time that Israel carried out the strike.

Israel has maintained official silence over Wednesday’s raid, which Syria said targeted a military research center north-west of Damascus.

Feb 3, 2013

U.S. shale gas revolution throws down the gauntlet to Europe

MUNICH, Feb 3 (Reuters) – The United States is enjoying an
energy bonanza thanks to shale gas, making it a magnet for
industry, reducing import dependence and challenging Europe as
it battles to dig itself out of recession, energy officials say.

Panelists at a weekend security conference in Munich warned
Europe must develop a strategy on how to tap its own resources
in order to keep energy costs competitive, or risk seeing
power-intensive industries locate elsewhere.

Jan 30, 2013

Egypt curfew scaled back as Mursi seeks end to bloodshed

CAIRO/BERLIN (Reuters) – Egyptian authorities scaled back a curfew imposed by President Mohamed Mursi, and the Islamist leader cut short a visit to Europe on Wednesday to deal with the deadliest violence in the seven months since he took power.

Two more protesters were shot dead before dawn near Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Wednesday, a day after the army chief warned that the state was on the brink of collapse if Mursi’s opponents and supporters did not end street battles.