BERLIN, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
conservatives tried on Monday to move on quickly from a
landslide defeat in a state election in Hamburg but the size of
the loss could reverberate in six more elections this year.
Merkel’s Christian Democrats were swept from power in
Germany’s second city in the regional election on Sunday with
their worst result since World War Two, plunging 20.7 percentage
points from the last election there to 21.9 pecent of the vote.
HAMBURG, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
Christian Democrats face losing a state election in Hamburg on
Sunday to the opposition Social Democrats which could make it
harder for her coalition to pass legislation.
Following are some questions and answers about the election:
WHY IS THE HAMBURG ELECTION IMPORTANT?
The CDU has ruled the prosperous port city for the last 10
years and losing control of Hamburg, one of Germany’s 16 federal
states, would make it more difficult for Merkel’s coalition to
pass laws in the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament.
BERLIN (Reuters Life!) – The life of Germany’s most celebrated playboy has made a big screen splash at the Berlin film festival, offering a riveting portrayal of the Jewish night club mogul who helped post-war Berlin learn to laugh again.
“The Big Eden,” an entertaining documentary about Shimon “Rolf” Eden, is more than just a story about an 80-year-old who has seduced a long line of young women over the last 60 years with his unique charm.
BERLIN (Reuters) – William Shakespeare would have been a great scriptwriter if he were alive today because his writing fits the cinema, British actor Ralph Fiennes said on Monday after the world premiere of his film “Coriolanus.”
Fiennes, who directs and stars in the modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s 17th century tale of a renegade Roman general, said the tragedy is a timeless political thriller about power, manipulation and public unrest. He made the film in Belgrade. “I can’t help but think that if Shakespeare were alive today he would write very easily for the cinema, for the big screen,” Fiennes said after hard-hitting “Coriolanus” was applauded at a news conference. He said he would like to film more Shakespeare.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Bundesbank president Axel Weber confirmed on Saturday he would not be a candidate to head the European Central Bank, blaming resistance in some European countries to his hardline monetarist stance.
In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine released on Saturday, Weber said he feared the credibility of the office would have suffered if as ECB president he held a minority view on key questions, pointing to his “clear position” in the last year on important decisions.
Hesse, a state run by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, on Wednesday became the first German region to ban Muslim face veils for public sector workers.
Hesse Interior Minister Boris Rhein announced it was “not acceptable” for the teacher in Frankfurt to wear a face veil because “public sector workers are obligated to have neutral religious and political views”.
BERLIN, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
conservative party faces the prospect of a heavy defeat in
February in the first of seven regional elections this year that
could reverberate in the capital and across Europe.
A series of scandals dogging her popular defence minister as
well as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis are two other sources of
possible discomfort in February for Merkel, whose party has so
far failed to reap any benefit from solid economic growth.
BERLIN, Jan 17 (Reuters) – German reluctance to boost the
European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and its rejection
of joint euro zone bonds are due in part to its own experience
in making financial transfers among its own federal states.
Euro zone finance ministers on Monday will discuss an
increase in the effective lending capacity of the EFSF.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition has rallied round Free Democrat leader Guido Westerwelle as he fights for his political life, but Germany’s unpopular foreign minister may only fend off party rebels for a few more months.
The FDP’s support is sinking so fast that after one poll gave it an approval rating of just 3 percent, a party leader in Baden-Wuerttemberg state, Ulrich Goll, joked that he was waiting for the first poll to appear giving the FDP zero percent.
BERLIN, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and
possible heavy defeats in several of the seven regional
elections in 2011 are two areas of potential trouble for German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her centre-right government.
The turmoil in her junior coalition partners, the Free
Democrats (FDP), over their steep fall in opinion polls and the
unpopularity of party leader Guido Westerwelle could also
cause turbulence in Merkel’s government. [ID:nLDE6BG0OS]