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]
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition faces a further loss of support if her Free Democrat partners insist on pursuing a battle over the leadership of party chairman and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
Dirk Niebel, development minister and a member of the FDP’s executive board, said on Saturday that Westerwelle’s party rivals were damaging the FDP and that their campaign could further erode support for the party.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Heavy snow and frigid temperatures caused further disruption across northern Europe on Monday — stranding travelers, snarling traffic and shutting schools.
More than 1,000 flights at Germany’s main airports in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin were canceled and many more delayed after up to 40 cm (16 inches) of fresh snow blanketed the country. Some 500 stranded passengers slept on cots at Frankfurt airport.
BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – European Union leaders will be warned on Thursday that a rolling debt crisis poses a systemic threat to the euro zone as they seek to paper over divisions at a summit on how to restore confidence.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will tell the 27 leaders that the crisis requires new steps by the whole single currency area and specific measures by member states such as Spain and Portugal to put their finances in order.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany denied on Monday that its opposition to joint euro sovereign bonds was due largely to the extra multi-billion euro borrowing costs it might face.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the government has made no official calculations on extra borrowing costs if euro bonds were introduced, dismissing a reported estimate of 17 billion euros ($22 billion) a year.
FREIBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Germany and France pledged on Friday to better align their tax and labor policies to foster convergence in the euro zone, but rejected calls for an increase in the bloc’s rescue fund and joint sovereign bonds.
Earlier on Friday, European central bankers had told euro zone governments they could not count on the ECB alone to solve a debt crisis which has forced bailouts of Greece and Ireland, and heaped pressure on countries like Portugal and Spain.
FREIBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Germany and France pledged on Friday to start harmonizing their taxes as an example to Europe of how to avoid future crises, while ruling out joint euro zone bonds or topping up the current crisis fund.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after a brief summit in Freiburg on the German border with France that they both must set examples for the currency bloc via closer fiscal harmony.
FREIBURG, Germany, Dec 10 (Reuters) – President Nicolas
Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Freiburg on Friday
to prepare joint Franco-German positions for next week’s EU
summit such as the rejection of proposals for euro zone bonds.
Officials in Berlin, eager to avoid controversy, played down
the significance of this meeting in Freiburg, a town of 220,000
near the French border, which comes ahead of a European Union
summit in Brussels next week to discuss the EU budget.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will add a record of some 8 gigawatt (GW) of photovoltaic capacity this year, widening its lead as the world’s top solar power market, the head of Germany’s BSW solar industry association said on Monday.
Carsten Koernig told Reuters the surge in demand for photovoltaic systems would take Germany’s total solar power capacity to between 17 and 18 GW — five times greater than the next largest producer Spain with a total of 3.5 GW.