Erik's Feed
Oct 16, 2012

Merkel urges tax cuts to boost German growth

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Germany needs to stimulate domestic economic demand and urged opposition parties to stop blocking proposed tax cuts in the upper house of parliament.

Merkel told business leaders Germany should end the automatic progression of workers into ever higher tax brackets due to inflation, which siphons more than 20 billion euros out of the economy each year. She also renewed her calls for cuts in pension contributions as another way to boost purchasing power.

Oct 15, 2012

Merkel defends cabinet ally against plagiarism charges

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel gave guarded support on Monday to a close cabinet ally facing calls to resign over allegations of plagiarism, charges that are similar to accusations that brought down her defense minister and heir-apparent last year.

Merkel said she had confidence in Education Minister Annette Schavan after Der Spiegel magazine reported that a University of Duesseldorf examination of her 1980 doctoral thesis concluded parts were plagiarized and recommended taking away her PhD.

Oct 11, 2012

Hungary’s Orban says crisis may overstretch Europe’s democracies

BERLIN (Reuters) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Europe’s democracies might not be up to coping with the crisis they face, making the case in an interview for the “presidential” form of leadership that has let him drive through tough reforms at home.

A fiercely independent leader whose economic and social policies have drawn protests from foreign investors, governments and international bodies, Orban told German business daily Handelsblatt he was “a passionate supporter of democracy”.

Sep 28, 2012

Steinbrueck to challenge Merkel in 2013

BERLIN (Reuters) – Peer Steinbrueck, an abrasive former finance minister, will lead the German Social Democrats’ challenge to unseat chancellor Angela Merkel in a parliamentary election a year from now.

Announcing their “chancellor candidate” some months earlier than expected, the centre-left opposition took Germany by surprise on Friday; Steinbrueck, a combative veteran from the right of the SPD, marked out a campaign theme of tougher rules for banks and a goal of coalition government with the Greens.

Sep 28, 2012

Former finance minister Steinbrueck to challenge Merkel: paper

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) will nominate former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck as their candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s national election, Bild newspaper reported on Friday.

Bild, citing sources in the center-left SPD, said party chairman Sigmar Gabriel – who was also seen as a potential candidate – would make the announcement on Monday. The paper said on its website that former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the third contender, had pulled out of the contest.

Sep 28, 2012

Former finmin Steinbrueck to challenge Merkel – paper

BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Germany’s main opposition Social
Democrats (SPD) will nominate former finance minister Peer
Steinbrueck as their candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela
Merkel in next year’s national election, Bild newspaper reported
on Friday.

Bild, citing sources in the centre-left SPD, said party
chairman Sigmar Gabriel – who was also seen as a potential
candidate – would make the announcement on Monday. The paper
said on its website that former foreign minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier, the third contender, had pulled out of the contest.

Sep 16, 2012

Barroso tells Germans their savings safe in an EU bank reform

BERLIN, Sept 16 (Reuters) – European Commission president
Jose Manuel Barroso distanced himself on Sunday from the idea
that German savings deposits could be used to fund European bank
rescues, potentially diminishing a major objection in Germany to
a banking union.

Barroso told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
newspaper that German fears over centralising banking
supervision in Europe are exaggerated.

Sep 15, 2012

German opposition leader tells party can unseat Merkel

BERLIN, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s former Foreign
Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier appealed to the emotions of his
centre-left opposition party on Saturday with an attack on
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition and a vow to win back power
in next year’s election.

Steinmeier, one of three Social Democrat (SPD) leaders
jostling to lead the party into the 2013 election, delivered an
uncharacteristically rousing speech to 700 SPD officials at a
conference, in what sounded like an audition for the top job.

Sep 15, 2012

German opposition leader rallies troops by attacking Merkel

BERLIN, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s former Foreign
Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier tried to win the hearts of his
centre-left opposition party on Saturday with an attack on
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition and a vow to win back power
in next year’s election.

Steinmeier, one of three Social Democrat (SPD) leaders
jostling to lead the party into the 2013 election, delivered an
uncharacteristically rousing speech to 700 SPD officials at a
conference, in what sounded like an audition for the top job.

Jul 1, 2012

Rising star helps SPD gain on Merkel in German poll

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social Democrats climbed to 32 percent in an opinion poll published on Sunday, helped by a surge in popularity for a new leader, a woman who could challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in elections in 15 months’ time.

Hannelore Kraft, re-elected state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia in May, soared from nowhere to place third on Der Spiegel’s list of 20 most popular politicians, just behind Merkel who is second only to President Joachim Gauck.

    • 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."
    • Contact Erik

    • Follow Erik