Alexandra's Feed
Jan 22, 2014

Europe worried as more and younger recruits join Syria battle

COLOGNE, Germany Jan 22 (Reuters) – Dashing to serve
customers in the family restaurant in Cologne last month while
tending skewers of meat on a charcoal grill, Haci Akarcorten
only just got a hand to the ringing phone.

At the other end was silence.

“Is it you?” Haci asked, tentatively voicing the name of his
younger brother, a 29-year-old electrician who had gone missing
six months earlier. “Yes, it’s me,” came the answer.

Jan 14, 2014

Study shows Aldi, VW used East German prison labour

BERLIN, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Leading German firms including
supermarket chain Aldi and carmaker Volkswagen stocked goods or
used components made by forced labour in former Communist East
Germany, a study has found, although both firms insist they did
so unwittingly.

Research by the federal authority responsible for managing
the archives of East Germany’s Stasi secret police (BStU)
uncovered a far broader use of prison labour during the 1970s
and 1980s by Western firms than previously acknowledged.

Jan 8, 2014

High liquidity mustn’t create bubbles, Schaeuble says

BERLIN, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Policymakers must closely watch
ultra-high liquidity provided by the world’s big central banks
to ensure no new asset bubbles form, German Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday, reiterating a
long-standing warning.

“We must keep a watch on liquidity levels to ensure new
bubbles aren’t being created,” Schaeuble said at a news
conference with visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Jan 8, 2014

German exports rise for fourth month in a row in November

BERLIN, Jan 8 (Reuters) – German exports rose for the fourth
consecutive month in November and industrial orders surged more
than expected – mostly based on overseas demand – in a sign that
Europe’s largest economy is benefiting from a nascent global
upturn.

But the data, coinciding with a visit on Wednesday by U.S.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew who has criticised Germany’s
export-driven model, could fuel allegations Berlin is not doing
enough to help its European partners by stimulating domestic
demand.

Dec 17, 2013

New German minister criticizes Russia, EU over Ukraine

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s new Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticized both Russia and the European Union in his inaugural speech for failing to recognize Ukraine’s divisions and placing the country in an impossible situation.

The Social Democrat (SPD) returned on Tuesday to the post he held during Angela Merkel’s first “grand coalition” government from 2005-2009.

Dec 9, 2013

German data shows mixed start to quarter, tempers optimism

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s trade surplus narrowed in October on a jump in demand for imports from firms and households, while industrial output unexpectedly fell, signaling a mixed start to the fourth quarter for Europe’s biggest economy.

Factory production dropped for the second month running, though the economy ministry said forward-looking sentiment data and robust construction orders indicated production would rise in the next months.

Dec 3, 2013

Scandal-hit Spain plummets 10 places in global corruption index

BERLIN, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Spain has slumped 10 places to a
rank of 40 in a global index of perceived official corruption
after a spate of scandals in its ruling centre-right ruling
party and the royal family, watchdog Transparency International
(TI) said.

In its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2013, the anti-graft
organisation said Spain was the second biggest loser of points
alongside Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Libya. The only
country to tumble further was Syria, rocked by civil war.

Nov 29, 2013

European firms size up Iran’s post-deal potential

BERLIN, Nov 29 (Reuters) – The phone hasn’t stopped ringing
at the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce since six world powers
reached a deal with Tehran to curb its nuclear programme,
opening the prospect that Iran can begin to shake off its
economic isolation.

A strategically located country with massive oil and gas
reserves, an urgent need to overhaul its creaking
infrastructure, and a young population of 76 million is of
particular interest to export champion Germany, once Iran’s
largest trade partner.

Nov 27, 2013

German Turks say let down by coalition deal on dual citizenship

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives broke a party taboo on Wednesday in allowing Germans of foreign origin dual citizenship as part of a coalition deal with the Social Democrats, but Turks living in Germany said the planned reform did not go far enough.

The conservatives have long opposed allowing people born in Germany to hold both German citizenship and that of another non-European Union country and it proved one of the most contentious issues in the talks on forming a new government.

Nov 13, 2013

Syria conflict draws rising numbers of German jihadists

BERLIN (Reuters) – German jihadists are heading for Syria in increasing numbers, unencumbered by travel formalities and able to integrate quickly into foreign militant groups where Arabic is not needed, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence said.

Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz since 2012 (BfV), said intelligence officers knew of 220 German citizens fighting in Syria, but the actual number could be much higher, and had risen sharply this year.