Erik's Feed
Jun 24, 2013

Merkel launches campaign with populist but costly promises

BERLIN, June 24 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
launched her re-election campaign on Monday with promises her
coalition partners dismissed as unaffordable and even one party
ally said would never see the light of day.

Merkel told leaders of her Christian Democrats (CDU) and
their Christian Social Union (CSU) sister party that if she is
re-elected she wants to raise child benefits, pensions for women
with children and pensions for low-income workers.

Jun 19, 2013

Obama turns JFK’s Berlin speech into new call for freedom

BERLIN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama offered a new twist on Wednesday to John F. Kennedy’s historic 1963 call for liberty — “Ich bin ein Berliner” — by saying other oppressed people eager to join the free world were also “citizens of Berlin.”

Just days before Berlin marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s clarion call for freedom, Obama opted to use that stirring Cold War speech as a forward-looking invitation for the world to do more to fight for liberty.

Jun 10, 2013

Germany’s Merkel snatches rent control issue from rival before election

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has stolen a page from the opposition’s campaign playbook ahead of the September election and is now calling for rent controls, a sign she is in a tight fight and does not want to risk upsetting Germany’s 40 million renters.

Merkel is well ahead of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in opinion polls for the September 22 election. But concern that the center-left could still win enough to form a coalition without her Christian Democrats (CDU) has pushed Merkel into unusual territory – diving into what is normally a local issue.

Jun 10, 2013

Merkel challenger sacks chief spokesman months before vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – German chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck, fighting an uphill battle to oust Angela Merkel, sacked his chief spokesman Michael Donnermeyer on Monday, the latest sign of disarray in his campaign just 104 days before the September 22 election.

A senior source in the Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters that Steinbrueck had decided to part company with Donnermeyer, a key ally who had previously worked as the spokesman for Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and former SPD leader Franz Muentefering.

Jun 3, 2013

Many German tax inspectors oblivious to Holocaust, book finds

BERLIN (Reuters) – Many low-level tax inspectors in Germany’s Nazi-era finance ministry were oblivious to the Holocaust and dutifully tried to contact murdered Jews whose wealth was being plundered by the ministry’s top officials, according to a new book.

Germans have publicly atoned for Nazi crimes in a myriad of ways over six decades, providing scores of billions of dollars in reparations to Holocaust victims, their descendants and the state of Israel. But only recently have leading government ministries come clean on their own particular Nazi past.

May 26, 2013

Merkel, Li call for end to EU-China solar trade row

BERLIN, May 26 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday called for an end to a
trade row between Europe and China over solar panels and
wireless equipment, telling a joint news conference they were
both for free trade.

The European Union accuses China of pricing its solar panels
and mobile telecom devices too cheaply and “dumping” them in
Europe to corner the market. It plans to impose duties on
Chinese panel makers.

May 26, 2013

Munich parties as Dortmund mourns in divided Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich fans celebrated long into the night after their team’s 2-1 Champions League triumph over Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday ensured two defeats in the previous three finals were quickly forgotten.

More than 40,000 Bayern fans erupted in delirious joy when Arjen Robben scored the 89th minute winner as they watched the match on a chilly, wet night at a special public viewing event set up on Munich’s Oktoberfest grounds.

May 26, 2013

Soccer-Munich parties as Dortmund mourns in divided Germany

BERLIN, May 26 (Reuters) – Bayern Munich fans celebrated long into the night after their team’s 2-1 Champions League triumph over Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday ensured two defeats in the previous three finals were quickly forgotten.

More than 40,000 Bayern fans erupted in delirious joy when Arjen Robben scored the 89th minute winner as they watched the match on a chilly, wet night at a special public viewing event set up on Munich’s Oktoberfest grounds.

May 24, 2013
via FaithWorld

New book asks: Could Germany have a Jewish chancellor?

Photo

(A huge Menorah at a ceremony marking the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, December 4, 2007. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke)

A new novel about a neo-Nazi plot to assassinate Germany’s first Jewish candidate for Chancellor has shed a timely light on the right-wing extremist violence that has plagued the country since 1990 and was swept under the carpet for years.

May 20, 2013

France must reform or face punitive measures: EU’s Oettinger

BERLIN (Reuters) – France should only be granted more time from the European Commission to cut its deficit if it also introduces reform measures, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger was quoted saying on Monday.

Oettinger, a former state premier in Germany and a respected leader in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), joined a chorus of senior German officials and CDU figures to issue warnings against allowing France to backslide on its austerity commitments.

    • 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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