Erik's Feed
Apr 28, 2014

German lawmakers see scope to cut tax ‘bracket creep’ around 2016

BERLIN, April 28 (Reuters) – Germany, flush with surging tax
revenues and strong economic growth, could lower income taxes in
2016 by eliminating “bracket creep”, according to a growing
number of voices in Angela Merkel’s right-left coalition.

Lawmakers from the chancellor’s Christian Democrats and the
centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) said there should be scope
for doing away with a tax code rule that income tax brackets are
not adjusted for inflation.

Apr 25, 2014

Merkel tells Putin Russia has not done enough to ease Ukraine crisis

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel said on Friday that she had told Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone that Moscow had not done enough to urge separatists in Ukraine to disarm, and that further sanctions against Russia must be contemplated.

The European Union and Group of Seven (G7) nations would consider sanctions “within the framework of the second stage of sanctions” she said at a news conference in Berlin with Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, referring to a three-stage scheme.

Apr 9, 2014

Germany asked U.S. about monitoring of Merkel but got no response: MP

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government asked the United States what information the National Security Agency had collected on Angela Merkel after monitoring her mobile phone for years but got no response, a German lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Omid Nouripour, a member of parliament for the opposition Greens, asked the German government in a formal parliamentary query if it had contacted Washington to discover what the NSA found out.

Apr 3, 2014

“Irresponsible” Lufthansa pilots vilified in Germany over strike

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, April 3 (Reuters) – Pilots on strike at
Lufthansa faced withering criticism across Germany and
even from their co-workers for demanding higher pay and early
retirement terms even though they rank among the country’s
best-paid workers.

Political leaders joined newspaper editorials and TV
commentators in lambasting the 5,400 pilots who have all but
shut down Germany’s largest airline and disrupted 425,000
passengers during their three-day walk-out until midnight
Friday.

Mar 28, 2014

Germany dismisses suggestions it’s soft on Russia

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is not trying to thwart a more forceful NATO reaction to Russia’s seizure of Crimea, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday in response to a newspaper report.

Brushing aside suggestions aired in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that Germany is “passive and hesitant” in NATO, Steinmeier said he had no desire to enter a “blame game” before NATO foreign ministers meet next week.

Mar 27, 2014

Putin’s apologist? Germany’s Schroeder says they’re just friends

BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) – Former German chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder has come under fire in Germany for defending
his close friend Vladimir Putin and warning of the perils of
isolating the Russian president over the crisis in Ukraine.

Schroeder, 69, has been excoriated for speaking out in
favour of Moscow and against the German government position, not
least because of his 250,000 euro salary as board chairman for a
pipeline joint venture with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.

Mar 19, 2014

As others mark World War One centenary, Germans prefer to forget

BERLIN (Reuters) – A simple plaque marks the forsaken spot where the Red Baron was buried in central Berlin but hardly anyone stops to remember the flying ace shot down in 1918. For Germans, the Great War holds so little interest.

The centenary of the outbreak of World War One has caught Germany off guard, while Britain, France, the United States and others mark it with battlefield tours, television programs, exhibitions and plans for ceremonies on the day, in August.

Mar 7, 2014

Bayern chief Hoeness to go on trial on tax evasion charges

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, once one of Germany’s most admired football managers, goes on trial on Monday charged with tax evasion in a case that has shocked the nation and changed attitudes towards paying taxes.

Hoeness, 62, who helped turn Bayern Munich into one of the world’s most respected football clubs and won the 2013 Champions League title, has said he voluntarily alerted tax authorities in January 2013 about his Swiss bank account and undeclared income.

Feb 20, 2014

Germany must play bigger global role, not dominate – president

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany has no desire to dominate other countries but it needs to leverage its post-war experiences of democracy and prosperity to play a bigger role on the global stage, President Joachim Gauck said.

Germany, still haunted by its Nazi past seven decades after the end of World War Two, remains reluctant to send troops abroad even on peacekeeping missions. It faced criticism from allies in 2011 for abstaining in a U.N. vote backing military intervention in Libya and declined to join the operation.

Feb 19, 2014

SPD politician apologises for resignation of German minister

BERLIN (Reuters) – A centre-left politician at the heart of a row inside Germany’s ruling coalition said on Wednesday he regretted having caused the resignation of one of Angela Merkel’s ministers as the chancellor sought to restore confidence in her government.

Merkel’s right-left “grand coalition”, which has been rocked by scandal in the last week, cannot afford distractions from its efforts to push on with complex reforms of the energy and pension systems in the European Union’s biggest and most prosperous economy.

    • 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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