BERLIN (Reuters) – Erich Honecker’s widow Margot has belittled the 136 people killed while trying to escape over the Berlin Wall during the Cold War, calling them stupid in an interview with German television aired on Monday evening.
Known as the “Purple Witch” in Communist East Germany for her tinted hair and hardline stance, Margot Honecker, 84, served alongside her dictator husband as minister for education. She was hated and feared by many East Germans.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a row in her centre-right coalition over plans for payments to parents who keep their pre-school children at home, after a group of influential lawmakers said the money should be spent instead on daycare centres.
The Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU), a coalition party traditionally close to the Roman Catholic church, is insisting that parents of stay-at-home toddlers be paid 150 euros a month.
BERLIN, March 31 (Reuters) – Switzerland has issued arrest
warrants for three German civil servants it has accused of
industrial espionage by purchasing the bank details of German
tax evaders, the finance ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia
(NRW) state said on Saturday.
In the latest chapter of an ugly dispute over tax evasion
that has strained ties between Germany and its southern
neighbour, a spokeswoman for the NRW finance ministry confirmed
a report about the warrants due to appear in Sunday’s Bild am
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives risk a bruising defeat in a May election in Germany’s most populous state because the man leading her campaign there, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen, refuses to risk his cabinet post.
Conservative party leaders and coalition allies have publicly urged Roettgen to give up his cabinet job and commit himself to leading Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) even in opposition in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
BERLIN, Feb 29 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble was criticised on Wednesday for playing
Sudoku on a small computer during a crucial parliamentary debate
on Greece, becoming a lightning rod for the growing opposition
in Germany to the latest bailout.
His spokesman defended Schaeuble against charges of
arrogance for playing the numbers puzzle while on the government
bench during the debate, saying he had worked tirelessly for 10
straight days on behalf of German interests.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s parliament will almost certainly endorse a Greek bailout on Monday despite growing pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet domestic calls to stop throwing money down “this crazy path.”
The world’s 20 leading economies, the G20, piled pressure on Germany at the weekend to drop its opposition to a bigger European bailout fund, telling Europe it must put up extra money if it wanted more help from other countries.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The German parliament will almost certainly vote to endorse a new Greek bailout package on Monday, but Chancellor Angela Merkel may be forced to rely on opposition support to overcome a determined band of rebels in her coalition.
At least a dozen members of parliament in Merkel’s center-right coalition said they would vote against the 130 billion-euro ($175 billion) rescue package. If the number of rebels rises to at least 20, the measure will pass only with opposition support.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germans overwhelmingly oppose further aid for Greece, according to opinion poll released on Sunday, one day ahead of a vote in parliament on a new Greek bailout package where Chancellor Angela Merkel may be forced to rely on opposition support.
The poll by the Emnid Institute in Bild am Sonntag newspaper found 62 percent oppose a new 130 billion ($175 billion) rescue package while 33 percent are in favor. A similar Emnid poll in September found 53 percent opposed and 43 percent in favor.
BERLIN (Reuters) – More than 160 German tax collectors have volunteered for possible assignments in Greece to help the struggling Mediterranean country gather tax more efficiently, the Finance Ministry in Berlin said on Saturday.
The offer risks fuelling resentment among Greeks who have already reacted angrily to earlier German calls for the appointment of a “budget commissioner” to monitor the Greek government’s management of its finances.
BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany plans to bring forward cuts in solar power subsidies of up to 30 percent by almost a month to March 9, spelling further trouble for companies selling solar panels in the world’s No.2 market.
Government sources had told Reuters on Wednesday the cuts of 20 to 30 percent would be moved forward to April 1, news that sent share prices tumbling. On Thursday Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and Economy Minister Philipp said the cuts would be moved forward even more, to March 9, to thwart any last-minute boom in projects, a further blow to producers.