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Nov 13, 2012

German army wastes millions on sunscreen, lip balm – auditors

BERLIN, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s army is wasting
millions of euros of taxpayers’ money producing its own
sunscreen, cough drops and lip balm rather than buying them off
the shelf, auditors said on Tuesday.

Compounding the problem, about 90 percent of some the
military’s own personal care products end up being thrown away,
said the report by the German Federal Court of Auditors.

Nov 9, 2012

Merkel’s rival Steinbrueck judged to have botched campaign start

BERLIN (Reuters) – German chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck has fallen far behind Angela Merkel in his campaign for 2013 elections, losing poll support with his abrasive style and a row over his lucrative speaking engagements.

Steinbrueck spent much of his first month as candidate for the Social Democrats (SPD) defending himself for earning 1.25 million euros moonlighting as an after-dinner speaker in three years – more than many SPD voters earn in a lifetime.

Nov 8, 2012

Liechtenstein banks weather tax evasion clampdown without mergers

BERLIN, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Liechstenstein’s banks are coping
with a clampdown on tax evasion thanks to cost cutting and a
drive to attract new funds, reducing the likelihood of merger
deals, the head of tiny Alpine principality’s banking
association said.

Liechtenstein was removed from a global black list of
uncooperative tax havens in 2009 when it agreed to help hunt
foreign tax dodgers after data leaked the year before revealed
hundreds of wealthy Germans had hidden assets in its banks.

Oct 30, 2012

Rival to Germany’s Merkel hits back in speech fees row

BERLIN, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
designated challenger in next year’s federal election angrily
rejected accusations on Tuesday that he sold out to bankers with
lucrative speaking engagements and neglected his duties as a
member of parliament by moonlighting.

Former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who will lead the
centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) into the 2013 election, told
a national TV audience he had earned 1.25 million euros for 89
speeches since 2009 but said he donated some money to charity.

Oct 29, 2012

Germany’s fast-sinking Pirates could shipwreck Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Pirates, a party that came from nowhere to be a major political force, are suffering a dramatic reversal of fortune that could harm Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2013 re-election chances.

After surging ahead of the Free Democrats (FDP), Left Party and Greens to become Germany’s third strongest party, polling 13 percent in April, the Pirates have fallen back to 4 percent.

Oct 28, 2012

Close race makes up for waning zeal in US expat vote

BERLIN, Oct 28 (Reuters) – With the U.S. presidential
election too close to call, hundreds of thousands of Americans
living in Europe have been posting their absentee ballots with a
sense that they could truly make a difference on Nov. 6.

From Berlin to Paris and London to Madrid, they have closely
tracked the battle between Democrat President Barack Obama and
Republican challenger Mitt Romney, though the emotional
temperature is several degrees lower than four years ago, when
most expats rallied behind Obama after two terms of George W.
Bush, whom many thought had tarnished the U.S. image abroad.

Oct 26, 2012

Merkel’s conservatives reach three-year high in key opinion poll

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives climbed to their highest level in more than three years in a leading opinion poll published on Friday, but the results pointed to no outright winner emerging from next September’s election.

The closely watched Politbarometer for ZDF TV indicated neither Merkel’s center-right coalition nor a center-left alliance would be able to win a majority.

Oct 18, 2012

Springer CEO says “free beer” era for internet ending

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s largest newspaper publisher will introduce a paywall for its flagship national daily Die Welt by the end of this year and is confident competitors will follow suit, Axel Springer Chief Executive Mathias Doepfner said.

In an interview with Reuters, Doepfner said he believes the ruinous “free beer for everyone” era of giving content away on the internet may be ending, as paying users are not only proving more valuable for publishers, but crucially for advertisers too.

Oct 16, 2012

Soccer-Coach Hamren baffled by Sweden’s four-goal comeback

BERLIN, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Sweden coach Erik Hamren was left bemused after his team staged an extraordinary recovery to come back from 4-0 down and earn a 4-4 draw with Germany in World Cup Group C qualifying on Tuesday.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this in an international game,” Hamren told a news conference after Sweden struck with four goals in the last 31 minutes at the Olympic Stadium.

Oct 16, 2012

Soccer-Sweden rally from 4-0 down to draw in Germany thriller

BERLIN, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Germany surrendered their 100 percent World Cup Group C qualifying record in stunning fashion after Sweden roared back from four goals down to draw 4-4 in a thriller at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.

Miroslav Klose struck twice in the opening 15 minutes before defender Per Mertesacker made it 3-0 in a game watched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

    • 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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