Erik's Feed
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.

Oct 7, 2013

German SPD opening door to coalition deal with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social Democrats have signaled their readiness to join Angela Merkel’s conservatives in a right-left ‘grand coalition’ by jettisoning a key election demand for higher taxes on the rich.

Two weeks after losing the election to Merkel, SPD leaders have stopped speaking disparagingly of becoming Merkel’s junior partners again – a thankless supporting role the SPD filled in 2005-2009 and which they blamed for a plunge in support.

Oct 4, 2013

Merkel, SPD welcome further talks on German government

BERLIN, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives and
the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to meet again in 10
days to explore forming a “grand coalition” government after an
initial three-hour meeting on Friday was called constructive by
both sides.

The German chancellor’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU)
emerged as the dominant party from the Sept. 22 election but
need a coalition partner and Friday’s meeting marked the start
of complex horse-trading that could last two months or more.

Sep 27, 2013

Germany’s left wants grassroots blessing before joining Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social Democrats decided on Friday to put any decision to join a ‘grand coalition’ with Angela Merkel to a vote of its 472,000 grassroots members, an unwieldy process that could complicate the creation of a new government.

But an extraordinary meeting on Friday of 200 party leaders also gave embattled chairman Sigmar Gabriel a green light to begin exploratory talks with Chancellor Merkel’s victorious conservatives to see if there is scope for full-fledged talks.

Sep 26, 2013

German left torn over sharing power with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s defeated Social Democrats may struggle to rally support for a ‘grand coalition’ with Angela Merkel’s conservatives from activists who fear the party could wither further in the shadow of the popular chancellor.

The SPD suffered its second-worst post-war performance at weekend polls that confirmed Merkel’s domination of the political stage. Its leaders meet under chairman Sigmar Gabriel on Friday to decide how best to salvage party fortunes.

Sep 21, 2013

Merkel concludes campaign trying to fend off Eurosceptic threat

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel wrapped
up her re-election campaign on Saturday with an appeal to defend
Europe and her centre-right coalition against Eurosceptics who
threaten to break into the German parliament for the first time
in Sunday’s election.

With a third of the 62 million voters still undecided and
the small Alternative for Germany (AfD) tapping into impatience
with euro zone bailouts, Europe’s most powerful leader risks
spending her third term in an awkward right-left coalition.

Sep 18, 2013

Merkel’s conservatives lash out at eurosceptics as polls narrow

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives switched tactics four days before Germany’s general election and attacked a eurosceptic party whose rapid rise endangers her center-right coalition’s bid to defend its majority in Sunday’s vote.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), which had deliberately ignored the small Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) so far in the campaign, deployed one of their most respected figures – Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble – to rip into the new party.

Sep 17, 2013

Merkel turns tough on ally in countdown to German vote

MAGDEBURG/BERLIN, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel warned
cheering supporters in the eastern city of Magdeburg on Tuesday
not to split their vote to save her Free Democratic (FDP)
coalition partners, in a sign of raw nerves ahead of a
tightly-contested German election on Sunday.

“We are separate parties with different policies and we have
no votes to give away,” she told a rally in an old market square
packed with supporters waving “Angie” posters and eating ice in
her party’s orange campaign colours.

Sep 17, 2013

Germany’s Merkel fights allies for center-right votes

BERLIN (Reuters) – The gloves came off between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and her Free Democratic (FDP) allies as Germany’s nervous ruling coalition partners fight for the same center-right voters ahead of Sunday’s general election.

Merkel appealed to supporters to cast both their votes – one for a constituency member of parliament, one for a party list – for her Christian Democrats (CDU) rather than splitting their ticket to help the FDP in an increasingly close race.

    • 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."
    • Contact Erik

    • Follow Erik