Alexandra's Feed
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.

Nov 8, 2013

Insight: Secretive art world let German hoarder hide in plain sight

BERLIN/MUNICH (Reuters) – On the doorbell of the apartment in Munich’s bohemian Schwabing district is a name once distinguished for architecture and music but infamous since the Nazi era by association with the plundering of art works owned by Jews: Gurlitt.

The discovery of hundreds of priceless paintings and drawings within has raised questions about how a man with such a red-flag surname – Cornelius Gurlitt – kept his secret for so long while selling works on the market.

Nov 8, 2013

Secretive art world let German hoarder hide in plain sight

BERLIN/MUNICH Nov 8 (Reuters) – On the doorbell of the
apartment in Munich’s bohemian Schwabing district is a name once
distinguished for architecture and music but infamous since the
Nazi era by association with the plundering of art works owned
by Jews: Gurlitt.

The discovery of hundreds of priceless paintings and
drawings within has raised questions about how a man with such a
red-flag surname – Cornelius Gurlitt – kept his secret for so
long while selling works on the market.

Nov 4, 2013

Jewish group condemns German silence on huge art find

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Jewish group accused Germany on Monday of moral complicity in concealment of stolen paintings after it emerged authorities failed for two years to report discovery of a trove of art seized by the Nazis, including works by Picasso and Matisse.

Customs officials’ chance discovery of 1,500 artworks in a Munich flat owned by the reclusive elderly son of a war-time art dealer, was revealed in a report by news magazine Focus over the weekend.

Nov 1, 2013

Iranian Kurd leader says West shouldn’t be fooled by Rouhani

BERLIN (Reuters) – The leader of an armed Iranian Kurdish group says new President Hassan Rouhani is taking advantage of the West’s wary optimism towards him to step up pressure on citizens at home, particularly Kurds, and has markedly increased executions.

The election in June of Rouhani, a relative moderate and a former chief nuclear negotiator, has created a diplomatic opening between Iran and a group of six world powers which are trying to persuade it to curb its nuclear program.

Nov 1, 2013

Snowden writes to Germans to seek support in spy row

BERLIN (Reuters) – Fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has told Germany he is counting on international support to stop Washington’s ‘persecution’ of him for revealing the scale of its worldwide phone and Internet surveillance.

In an open letter to a country at the center of the row over U.S. spying on allies, Snowden said his revelations had helped to “address formerly concealed abuses of the public trust”.