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Jan 18, 2015

German eurosceptic party at crossroads before key election

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Sounding more like the economics professor he once was than the dangerous far-right firebrand some say he has become, Bernd Lucke spoke at length about the perils of the euro zone and unfettered immigration at a campaign rally last week.

Some 400 conservative, gray-haired men had gathered in a basement of a Hamburg skyscraper on a stormy night to hear the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party founder, a 52-year-old father of five.

Jan 18, 2015

Germany’s anti-Islam PEGIDA march canceled due to attack threat

BERLIN (Reuters) – A march by the German anti-Islam PEGIDA movement in the eastern city of Dresden planned for Monday has been canceled due to a concrete threat of an attack against one of its leaders at the weekly rally, police in Dresden said on Sunday.

Confirming an announcement made on PEGIDA’s facebook page, a spokesman for the Dresden police said that they had placed a “general ban” on all public gatherings on Monday. That included the group that calls itself “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West”.

Jan 13, 2015

Revived Nazi-era term ‘Luegenpresse’ is German non-word of year

BERLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A German linguists’ panel has
chosen a Nazi-era term “Luegenpresse” (lying press), which
anti-immigrant protesters have revived and shouted at the media,
as the country’s non-word of the year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the demands – an end
to multiculturalism – of the grassroots “Patriotic Europeans
against the Islamisation of the West” (PEGIDA) at weekly rallies
as “reprehensible” and said her conservative-led government
would use all constitutional means to fight intolerance.

Jan 9, 2015

Binoche Greenland drama to open Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN (Reuters) – A world premiere starring Juliette Binoche called “Nobody Wants the Night” was picked on Friday to open the 65th annual Berlinale, one of the most prestigious film festivals which features some 400 screenings.

Directed by Spain’s Isabel Coixet, “Nobody Wants the Night” is an historical drama set in icy Greenland in 1908 about courageous women and ambitious men. It will be one of some 23 films competing for the Golden Bear, and also stars Japan’s Rinko Kikuchi and Ireland’s Gabriel Byrne.

Jan 8, 2015

German fears of Islam rising as anti-immigrant protests grow

BERLIN (Reuters) – A new survey issued at a time when anti-immigrant street protests in Germany are gathering pace shows that an increasing majority of non-Muslim Germans feel threatened by Islam.

The survey, carried out by Emnid pollsters for the Bertelsmann Foundation think-tank, was taken in late November, before Wednesday’s mass killing in Paris by Islamist gunmen

Jan 8, 2015

Ukraine says Russia behind cyber attack on German government

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ukraine’s prime minister blamed Russian intelligence on Thursday for a hacker attack against German government websites, for which a pro-Russian group claimed responsibility.

The attack on Wednesday took place before Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk was due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Russian group demanded Berlin end support for the Ukrainian government.

Jan 7, 2015

German groups say Paris attack shows Islamist threat

BERLIN (Reuters) – Anti-immigrant groups in Germany seized on Wednesday’s deadly attack in Paris, with leaders of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and PEGIDA saying it showed the threat of Islamist violence.

Twelve people were killed when gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical magazine known for lampooning radical Islam.

Jan 7, 2015

Pro-Russian group claims cyber attack on German government websites

BERLIN (Reuters) – German government websites, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s page, were hacked on Wednesday in an attack claimed by a group demanding Berlin end support for the Ukrainian government, shortly before their leaders were to meet.

Authorities took counter-measures but failed to halt the attack, which left the sites periodically inaccessible from 10 a.m. (0900 GMT), her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. Screens gave internet users error messages instead.

Jan 4, 2015

Germany’s Gabriel says Berlin wants Greece to stay in euro zone

BERLIN, Jan 4 (Reuters) – The German government wants Greece
to stay in the euro zone and there are no contingency plans to
the contrary, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday,
responding to a media report that Berlin believes the currency
union could cope without Greece.

Gabriel, the Economy Minister and leader of the centre-left
Social Democrats (SPD), also told the Hanoversche Allgemeine
Zeitung that the euro zone had become more resilient in recent
years and could not be “blackmailed”.

Jan 4, 2015

Turmoil in Eurosceptic AfD party could help Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – A battle for control of the German Eurosceptic upstart Alternative for Germany (AfD) exposed deep ideological rifts at the weekend within a party that has been stealing votes from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

Merkel had chosen to ignore rather than directly challenge the AfD, which has soared from nowhere to around 7 percent in national opinion polls in less than two years, in the hope that it would burn itself out.

    • About Erik

      "Erik Kirschbaum is based in Berlin. He has been covering politics, economics, entertainment and sport in Germany since 1989 from Frankfurt, Bonn and Berlin. He also has worked for Reuters in Vienna. Previously, he also worked for newspapers in Connecticut, Wisconsin and Nevada. He has also written two books."
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