Erik's Feed
Feb 27, 2012

Merkel faces difficult Greek vote in German parliament

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.

Feb 26, 2012

Merkel faces difficult Greek vote in parliament

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.

Feb 26, 2012

Germans overwhelmingly oppose Greek bailout: poll

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.

Feb 25, 2012

German tax collectors volunteer for duty in Greece

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.

Feb 23, 2012

Germany to cut solar subsidies faster than expected

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.

Feb 23, 2012

Germany to cut solar incentives faster than expected

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Germany aims to
reduce solar power incentives by between 20 percent and 30
percent from March 9, rather than from April 1, which is what
had been expected, spelling further trouble for companies
selling panels in the world’s No.2 photovoltaic market.

Shares in European solar companies fell on the news, with
sector bellwethers SolarWorld (SWVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), SMA Solar (S92G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research),
Q-Cells (QCEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), Renewable Energy Corp (REC) (REC.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) and
Centrotherm (CTNG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) down by between 3.2 and 8.3 percent by
1248 GMT.

Feb 22, 2012

Merkel blunder a harbinger of change in Germany?

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s humbling defeat in accepting an opposition candidate for president may herald a shift in coalition alliances that could yet see her conservatives unceremoniously bundled from power in 2013.

Merkel herself is riding high in opinion polls, the public generally satisfied with steady if unspectacular leadership during the euro zone debt crisis. Her center-right coalition will likely remain together until the 2013 election.

Feb 20, 2012

German presidency row shakes Merkel’s coalition

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives accused their coalition partner on Monday of a “massive breach of trust” in backing opposition candidate Joachim Gauck for the German presidency, a move which forced the chancellor to support him despite deep reservations.

Germany’s Bild newspaper said Merkel’s centre-right government had even come close to collapsing during tense negotiations on Sunday evening between her and Free Democrat (FDP) leader Philipp Roesler over who should fill the largely ceremonial post.

Feb 17, 2012

Germans aghast as Merkel loses 2nd president in two years

BERLIN, Feb 17 (Reuters) – To lose one president may
be considered a misfortune. To lose two within two years looks
like carelessness.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be reflecting on Oscar
Wilde’s aphorism about parents after scandals over money, power
and political favours drove President Christian Wulff to resign
on Friday.

Feb 13, 2012

Serb comedy has Balkans united in laughter

BERLIN (Reuters) – A comedy about a former Serb war hero who recruits erstwhile enemies from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo to protect a Gay Pride parade offers a delightful snapshot of the post-war healing that has taken place in the ex-Yugoslav republics.

“The Parade” director Srdan Dragojevic said after his film was well received at the Berlin Film Festival on Monday that he opted to use humor as the wrapping for a film that tackles the disturbing reality of gay persecution in Serbia.

    • 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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