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.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a resolution on Thursday to protect the religious circumcision of infant boys after a district court ban on the practice outraged Muslims and Jews and sparked an emotional debate in the country.
The main political parties have criticised the ruling by a Cologne court and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has promised a new law to make clear doctors or families will not be punished for carrying out the procedure.
WARSAW (Reuters) – Striker Mario Balotelli, whose mercurial talent and off-field antics have generated admiration and scorn, scored two superb goals in a 2-1 semi-final victory over fancied Germany on Thursday that secured a Euro 2012 final place against Spain.
Italy, who won their only European Championship in 1968, snapped Germany’s 15-match winning streak in competitive games and prolonged an agonizing 17-year period for the Germans without a win over the Italians.
WARSAW (Reuters) – Three-times winners Germany take on feared foe Italy in the second Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday, looking to set up a showdown with holders Spain who dispatched Portugal on penalties in a Donetsk nail-biter on Wednesday.
Joachim Loew’s young side have looked strong in the tournament, which ends on Sunday with the final in Kiev, but Germany have not beaten Italy in 17 years, and never at a major tournament.