Erik's Feed
Sep 14, 2014

Germany’s eurosceptic AfD surges to win seats in two states

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surged to win more than 10 percent of the vote in two states on Sunday in a growing challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel as her new right-wing rival makes further inroads into her power base.

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) could also suffer an ominous loss of power in the state of Thuringia if the hardline Left party can persuade the Social Democrats (SPD) to switch allegiances and elect Germany’s first Left state premier.

Sep 14, 2014

Germany’s euroskeptic AfD surges to win seats in two states: exit polls

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surged to win more than 10 percent of the vote in two states on Sunday so the right-wing rival to Chancellor Angela Merkel will now have seats in three state assemblies, TV projections showed.

The AfD, which was founded in early 2013 to oppose euro zone bailouts, won 10.1 percent of the vote in Thuringia and 11.9 percent in Brandenburg, according to projections on Germany’s ARD TV announced after voting ended at 6 p.m. (Noon EDT)

Sep 14, 2014

At a landmark Berlin rally, Merkel vows to fight anti-Semitism

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will do all it can to fight anti-Semitism, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech on Sunday, following a surge of abuse against Jews and spreading anti-Israeli sentiment aroused by the Gaza conflict.

Merkel made her pledge to thousands at a landmark rally protesting a rise in anti-Semitism that authorities and Jewish leaders blame mainly on Muslim extremists and young immigrants, saying anyone who attacks Jews is attacking all of Germany.

Sep 14, 2014

German business lobby group calls EU sanctions a mistake

BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union’s new economic sanctions against Russia are a “mistake” because they were imposed just as a week-old ceasefire was bringing calm to the embattled east of Ukraine, the leader of a German business lobby group was quoted saying on Sunday.

Eckard Cordes, chairman of Germany’s Committee on Eastern European Economic relations, said his group, which represents the interests of about 200 companies with investments in Russia, had wanted sanctions to be delayed to help bolster the ceasefire.

Sep 12, 2014

Rising Russian tensions put lonely NATO base in Poland on map

SZCZECIN Poland (Reuters) – There are no boots on the ground at NATO’s only headquarters behind the former Iron Curtain — just some top brass sitting at desks with maps on the walls.

In fact, the alliance’s lonely outpost at Szczecin in western Poland has created such a tiny footprint over the past 15 years that barely anyone noticed it even existed.

Sep 9, 2014

No new debt for Germany in 2015, first time since 1969

BERLIN, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble said Germany would not take on new debt next year for
the first time since 1969, underlining the robustness of the
country’s finances as European partners urge it to do more to
boost euro zone growth.

Speaking to the lower house of parliament on Tuesday,
Schaeuble said budgets that did not include net new borrowing
should become the new norm for Germany from 2015 and said Berlin
wanted to open the door for more private investment, especially
in infrastructure.

Sep 7, 2014

Merkel ally lashes out at Draghi over ECB plans to buy ‘junk’ paper

BERLIN (Reuters) – An ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the European Central Bank and its president Mario Draghi in a rare public attack, telling Bild newspaper the ECB’s new schemes to bolster lending and buy asset-backed securities would scare Germans.

“It’s only going to frighten a lot of people when ECB chief Mario Draghi opens up the central bank’s money tap and at the same time buys junk paper,” Christian Social Union chairman and Bavaria state premier Horst Seehofer said in an interview with Germany’s top-selling newspaper, to be published on Monday.

Sep 7, 2014

Germany’s divisive road toll plan could make a loss: magazine

BERLIN (Reuters) – A plan to introduce toll roads in Germany aimed mainly at foreigners, which has already divided the ruling coalition, is flawed and even loss-making, according to internal government documents published in Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday.

The proposal has caused a row within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government because the Christian Social Union (CSU), her Bavarian sister party, insists on it while her Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrat (SPD) partners are skeptical about whether it conforms to European Union rules.

Sep 6, 2014

Merkel vows to fight anti-Semitism in Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do everything she could to fight anti-Semitism in Germany, amid reports of attacks and a spike in anti-Israel sentiment since the Gaza conflict.

In her weekly podcast, Merkel said she was alarmed that Jewish institutions in Germany still needed police protection and called for a big turnout at a rally against anti-Semitism that she was planning to address in Berlin next weekend.

Sep 3, 2014

Germany’s Loew says time for World Cup party to wind down

DUESSELDORF Germany (Reuters) – There is nothing wrong with savouring July’s fourth World Cup win as far as Germany coach Joachim Loew is concerned, but he said it was now time for the party to start winding down.

Loew was surprisingly unperturbed after his team’s woeful performance in a 4-2 home defeat to Argentina in a rematch of the World Cup final.

    • 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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