MOSCOW/BERLIN, April 7 (Reuters) – Growing Western concerns
about Vladimir Putin’s record on human rights and democracy
could mean a chilly reception for the Russian president on a
trip to Germany and the Netherlands, Moscow’s biggest trade
partners in Europe.
The nations need Russia for energy and as a market for
exports ranging from Volkswagen Touaregs to tulips, but are
uneasy about the influence its oil and gas give it and about
Putin’s treatment of opponents and activists in his new Kremlin
BERLIN (Reuters) – A Turkish newspaper said on Thursday it would complain to Germany’s highest court over media access to a trial of suspected neo-Nazis blamed for the murder of eight Turks, in a row that has embarrassed the German government.
With one of Germany’s most anticipated trials in years set to start on April 17, a Munich court allocated 50 guaranteed seats to media on a first-come-first-served basis, without including a single Turkish journalist.
BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) – German politicians, media and
the country’s Turkish community accused a German court of gross
insensitivity in failing to guarantee Turkish reporters access
to a trial of suspected neo-Nazis blamed for a racist killing
With the trial for the murder of eight Turks and a Greek due
to start on April 17, the court allocated 50 guaranteed seats to
media on a first-come-first-served basis. Reporters would have
to queue for a further 50-60 places each day, the court said.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Watching thousands of miles away, Kurds in western Europe welcomed jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan’s ceasefire message as a critical step toward ending almost 30 years of conflict in Turkey, but expressed concern over Ankara’s next steps.
With thousands displaced by the violence or having fled on political grounds, many Kurds in Europe have long regarded Ocalan, jailed on a Turkish prison island since 1999, as a symbolic leader.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government decided against trying to outlaw the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), branded by its critics as neo-Nazi, over doubts that judges would back such a move.
The government said it would instead support a separate bid by Germany’s 16 federal states to ask the Constitutional Court to ban the party which the domestic intelligence service has called “racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist”.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Monday ruled out granting same-sex couples the same tax benefits as married people, with the chancellor bowing to pressure from traditionalists six months before a federal election.
The centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) agreed last December to keep the status quo for gay couples, who under current rules do not enjoy the tax benefits of married heterosexuals.
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.
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.
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.
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.