Alexandra's Feed
May 20, 2014

Germany hopes for high voter turnout to stabilize Ukraine

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday can help bring stability, Germany’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, but it is crucial that as many people as possible vote to reinforce its democratic legitimacy.

The days left to the vote must be used to ensure polling stations can open and people can vote free from intimidation, Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference in Berlin, but he warned the situation in parts of the east remained fragile.

May 15, 2014

Germany’s eurosceptics gain support but ‘populist’ tag stings

BRANDENBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Since the agony of just missing out on parliament seats in the German election last year, the leader of Germany’s eurosceptic party has been branded a “salon fascist”, seen 40 percent of his posters destroyed, and encountered protests wherever he goes.

But Bernd Lucke, a 51-year-old economics professor, finally has the consolation of seeing his Alternative for Germany (AfD) climb to its highest ever poll rating of 7 percent – 10 days before Germans vote for the European Parliament, and enough to win a handful of seats.

Apr 25, 2014

Merkel tells Putin Russia has not done enough to ease Ukraine crisis

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel said on Friday that she had told Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone that Moscow had not done enough to urge separatists in Ukraine to disarm, and that further sanctions against Russia must be contemplated.

The European Union and Group of Seven (G7) nations would consider sanctions “within the framework of the second stage of sanctions” she said at a news conference in Berlin with Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, referring to a three-stage scheme.

Apr 24, 2014

Germany says blocked $7 mln worth of defence exports to Russia

BERLIN, April 24 (Reuters) – Germany has suspended 5 million
euros ($7 million) worth of defence equipment exports to Russia
in light of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, and will halt the
transfer of already licensed goods in “critical cases”,
according to Germany’s Economy Ministry.

The ministry made the disclosure in response to questions
from the opposition Greens party, which the Greens made
available on Thursday.

Apr 4, 2014

Turkish lira, stocks edge up, shrugging off Erdogan rate comments

ISTANBUL, April 4 (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira rose on Friday
as U.S. jobs data boosted demand for emerging market assets,
helping the lira regain ground lost earlier when Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan called for the central bank to cut interest
rates.

By 1250 GMT the lira traded at 2.1080 to the
dollar, close to its strongest level this year and rebounding
from 2.1433 after Erdogan’s remarks a day after the central bank
governor said fighting inflation was a priority and current
interest rates would help achieve that.

Apr 4, 2014

Lira eases after Turkey’s Erdogan says central bank should cut rates

ISTANBUL, April 4 (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira weakened on
Friday after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the central bank
should cut interest rates, a day after the bank’s governor had
said fighting inflation remained a priority and rates at
existing levels would do the job.

Investors have long feared the government exerting pressure
on the central bank to keep rates artificially low as it moves
into an election cycle, and have warned how detrimental this
would be to Turkey’s struggle against inflation and external
imbalances.

Mar 29, 2014

Loyalty to embattled Erdogan lies deep in Turkey’s pious heartlands

KONYA, Turkey (Reuters) – If Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is fighting the toughest battle of his political career as corruption allegations swirl and elections approach, Turkey’s conservative Anatolian heartlands appear to have his back.

Here, far from dividing his pious core supporters, the graft scandal and bitter power struggle with a U.S.-based cleric have served only to stir more devotion to a man they see as Turkey’s greatest modern leader, delivering hospitals and schools and breaking the grip of secular elites over the past decade.

Mar 26, 2014

Turkish banks rise on hopes central bank will pay interest

ISTANBUL, March 26 (Reuters) – Turkish stocks firmed on
Wednesday after the government cleared the way for the central
bank to pay interest on banks’ lira required reserve deposits.

The central bank has said it may take such a step in a
limited capacity and if needed, to boost liquidity in the
financial system and help counter any economic slowdown.

Mar 17, 2014

Renzi tells Merkel Italy will respect EU budget rules

BERLIN, March 17 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi on Monday assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a
long-standing champion of European Union budget rigour, that he
aimed to accelerate growth while respecting deficit spending
limits.

Renzi last week announced a sweeping package of tax cuts,
including 10 billion euros ($13.9 billion) in income-tax
reductions, to help spur consumer demand, saying spending cuts
and extra borrowing would fund the measures.

Mar 14, 2014

EU working from list of 120-130 names for Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union has drawn up a list of 120-130 Russians who could be hit with travel bans and asset freezes for their actions over Crimea, European diplomats said on Friday, but the final register of names will only be decided on Sunday.

The five-page list, including senior figures in Russia’s military and political establishment, was drawn up with the assistance of EU diplomats with experience in Moscow, officials told Reuters. It is now being reviewed in Brussels.