Erik's Feed
Nov 9, 2013

Germany’s SPD demands tax on rich despite Merkel veto

BERLIN, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Germany’s centre-left Social
Democrats hope to reach a deal to raise taxes on the rich even
though Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are opposed, an
SPD leader said on Saturday.

Merkel’s conservatives emerged from the Sept. 22 election as
the largest force but need a coalition partner. The SPD was at
first reluctant to join Merkel in a reprise of the “grand
coalition” that ruled from 2005-09 but coalition talks are now

Nov 6, 2013

Germany could challenge recluse’s ownership of Nazi-looted art

BERLIN, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The German recluse who hoarded his
late father’s trove of Nazi-looted art may be its legal owner
but the Berlin government has the authority – and moral
obligation, some argue – to return the art works to their
original Jewish owners or their heirs.

The status of the haul is ambiguous nearly 70 years after
World War Two, subject to conflicting claims and obscured by the
secretive world of art dealing. The man in whose Munich flat it
was found, Cornelius Gurlitt, may even get to keep it.

Oct 29, 2013

Can Merkel really be surprised the NSA spied on her?

BERLIN (Reuters) – When Angela Merkel was growing up in communist East Germany, she recalls her parents getting nervous whenever she talked for too long on the phone. “Hang up! The Stasi is listening and it’s all being recorded,” warned her mother, according to one biography.

But somewhere along the line between her childhood behind the Iron Curtain and becoming chancellor of a united Germany, Merkel apparently lost her fear of eavesdropping.

Oct 14, 2013

Merkel starts crucial week of talks on new German government

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to pick a new coalition partner this week before moving on to detailed negotiations that could produce a new German government within about two months.

While the rest of the Europe waiting for clarity in its pivotal economy, Merkel has moved slowly since the September 22 election towards making a deal with her two potential partners. She meets the Social Democrats on Monday (1400 GMT) and the Greens on Tuesday.

Oct 13, 2013
via FaithWorld

German ‘luxury bishop’ flies to Rome for papal decision on his job


(Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, 1 June 2012/Christliches Medienmagazin pro)

A German Catholic bishop under fire for huge cost overruns on a luxury residence and alleged lying under oath has flown to Rome to meet Vatican officials and possibly Pope Francis to decide if he can stay in office.

Oct 13, 2013

German SPD tells Merkel no deal without minimum wage

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social Democrats threw up a new potential obstacle to a ‘grand coalition’ government with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday ahead of a new round of talks, saying they would insist on a national minimum wage.

Merkel’s conservatives defeated her center-left rivals in the September 22 election, but she needs either the SPD or the Greens as a coalition partner and neither party has shown much desire to join her.

Oct 12, 2013

Merkel’s conservative ally warming to coalition with Greens

BERLIN, Oct 12 (Reuters) – A powerful conservative ally of
German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused on Saturday to rule out
an unorthodox coalition with the Greens party ahead of further
exploratory talks next week.

Three weeks after an inconclusive election, Bavarian state
premier Horst Seehofer told the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper
it was not true that his Christian Social Union (CSU), Bavarian
allies of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), would thwart a
deal with the Greens.

Oct 10, 2013

Germany’s Merkel, Greens agree second round of exploratory talks

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s victorious conservatives and the Greens party agreed on Thursday to hold further talks on forming a first-ever federal government between the long-time adversaries, party officials said.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), emerged as the dominant force in the September 22 election but need a coalition partner. Full negotiations for a government could take up to two months.

Oct 9, 2013

Germany’s Greens turn frosty towards any alliance with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens threw up a new hurdle to a possible coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Wednesday by condemning her government’s refugee policies after the migrant boat disaster off the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The Greens, who will hold exploratory talks with the conservatives on Thursday evening, were already skeptical about helping Merkel form a government for her third term because of differences on energy, tax and social issues.

Oct 8, 2013

Germany’s Greens elect new leaders before talks with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens party picked two new leaders on Tuesday to spearhead talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives this week that could usher in a historic coalition government between the erstwhile political enemies.

The Greens’ old leadership resigned en masse after suffering a debacle in Germany’s September 22 election, when the party crashed to 8.4 percent from around 16 percent earlier in the year.

    • 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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