BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew accusations on Tuesday of trickery for suspending her nuclear energy policy, as the opposition and media said she was trying to avoid a regional election disaster.
But conservative politicians rallied to her side as Japanese engineers fought to avert a nuclear disaster, with one formerly enthusiastic supporter of atomic power questioning whether the entire European continent could live without it.
BERLIN, March 14 (Reuters) – Germany has suspended a
coalition agreement to delay closing the nation’s ageing nuclear
power stations, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday after
the Japanese crisis stiffened opposition to an unpopular deal.
Last year, the coalition agreed to prolong the life of the
17 nuclear plants — the oldest of which is 34 years old –
beyond their original planned closure dates. On Monday Merkel
said this agreement would now be suspended for three months.
BERLIN, March 14 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
will on Monday suspend for several years a deeply unpopular plan
to delay closing the nation’s nuclear power stations, due to the
crisis at a Japanese plant, sources in her coalition said.
The sources gave no further details but Focus magazine said
on its website that Merkel had decided on Sunday to suspend last
year’s coalition agreement extending the life of nuclear plants.
LONDON (Reuters) – France admitted on Sunday that keeping its top-notch credit rating would be “a stretch” without some tough budget decisions, following German hints that Berlin may resort to raising taxes to help bring down its deficit.
Euro zone trade unions are preparing for possible confrontations in the coming week if governments impose austerity measures or labour reforms unilaterally.
BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s austerity drive to return to fiscal health will only work if it is combined with measures to stimulate growth and investment, the country’s prime minister said on Monday.
Greece’s economy, which slumped 2.0 percent last year, is projected to contract by 4.0 percent in 2010 and by 2.6 percent in 2011, declines that are set against plans to cut the deficit from 13.6 percent of GDP to 3 percent by 2013.
BERLIN/HELSINKI, May 16 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela
Merkel said on Sunday that a $1 trillion EU rescue plan had only
bought the euro zone time to tackle its fundamental problem — a
yawning gap between its strongest and weakest economies.
Merkel denounced what she called speculation in the past
week against the euro currency. But Europe’s leaders could calm
the situation only by sorting out the big economic divergence
among the 16 countries which use the common currency.
BERLIN/ZAGREB (Reuters) – Europe’s central bankers said on Saturday their governments had at best bought time with a $1 trillion rescue, and called for radical action to curb budget deficits and harsh punishments for those who strayed.
“There is a need for a quantum leap in the governance of the euro area,” European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet told Der Spiegel magazine. [nLDE64E015]
BERLIN, May 15 (Reuters) – The euro <EUR=> is not under
attack, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet was
quoted on Saturday as saying, despite its fall to an 18 month
low against the dollar.
Europe found itself in the worst situation since World War
Two and possibly since World War One, he said in an interview
with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.
BERLIN/LUXEMBOURG, March 11 (Reuters) – EU policymakers
injected a dose of cold reality into talk of creating a European
monetary fund, questioning who would pay for it and saying the
principle of no bailouts for countries in financial trouble must
Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday such
a fund should protect only the interests of the entire euro
zone, not any individual member of the currency bloc, while ECB
Governing Council member Yves Mersch said central banks weren’t
in the business of budget bailouts.
BERLIN, March 4 (Reuters) – Greek Deputy Foreign Minister
Dimitris Droutsas called on Thursday for Germany and its EU
partners to send a clear message of confidence in Athens to
financial markets, allowing Greece to borrow more cheaply.
Droutsas also said he was optimistic that his government’s
extra austerity package aimed at fighting the nation’s debt
crisis would allow its 2010 budget deficit target to be met.