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Apr 27, 2013

German SPD leader woos Greens for anti-Merkel alliance

BERLIN (Reuters) – The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) took the stage at a Greens party congress on Saturday with an unashamed pitch for them to throw in their lot with the SPD to defeat Chancellor Angela Merkel in September.

It was the first time an SPD leader had addressed a Greens congress. Sigmar Gabriel, whose party would need a coalition with the rising pro-environment party to have any chance of leading the next government, delivered a passionate plea to the Greens to stop flirting with Merkel’s conservatives.

Apr 24, 2013

German Greens’ wealth tax split set to spoil party congress

BERLIN, April 24 (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens, itching to
get back into power after eight years in opposition, are
embroiled in a row over plans to raise taxes on high earners
that looks set to spoil a party congress starting on Friday.

Consistently polling about 15 percent, the Greens hope to
form a centre-left coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD)
after the Sept. 22 election, but are lagging Chancellor Angela
Merkel’s centre-right coalition – also likely to fall short of a
majority. The SPD-Greens bloc already controls Germany’s upper
house of parliament, the Bundesrat.

Apr 22, 2013

Top soccer manager’s secret Swiss account stuns Germany

BERLIN, April 22 (Reuters) – One of Germany’s most admired sports managers, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, voluntarily reported himself to authorities in a tax evasion investigation that has exposed the government to criticism it is lenient on tax cheats.

The 61-year-old Hoeness, a former soccer star himself who is at once loved and loathed across Germany for his outspoken opinions on sports and politics, said he had voluntarily alerted tax authorities in January that he held the Swiss account.

Apr 21, 2013

Feisty German minister stands up to Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – The political wilderness in Germany is filled with once-powerful conservative party barons, overly confident men who dared to challenge Angela Merkel and lost.

But never before has the German chancellor had to contend with another woman, a popular member of her own cabinet, standing up to her in public in the way Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen did last week.

Apr 15, 2013

Merkel averts pre-election rebellion on women’s quotas

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel averted a potentially embarrassing defeat in parliament when rebel members of her center-right coalition accepted a compromise plan on Monday to require German companies to put more women on their boards.

The threat of a rebellion had loomed just five months before Germany holds an election in which Merkel will be trying to win a third term. Leading conservatives, including Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen, were threatening to break ranks and vote with opposition parties, convinced that voluntary pledges to appoint more women have proven inadequate.

Mar 31, 2013

German opposition parties warn each other: don’t team up with Merkel

BERLIN, March 31 (Reuters) – Germany’s two main opposition
parties traded warnings on Sunday against joining forces with
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives after September’s
election if they fail to win their own left-of-centre majority.

The leaders of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens party
issued unusually shrill messages to each others’ supporters
about the risk their votes might end up going to a party that
could join forces in a coalition with Merkel.

Mar 31, 2013

German opposition parties warn each other: hands off Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s two main opposition parties traded warnings on Sunday against getting into bed with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives after September’s election if they fail to win their own left-of-center majority.

The leaders of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens party issued unusually shrill messages to each others’ supporters about the risk their votes might end up going to a party that could join forces in a coalition with Merkel.

Mar 30, 2013

Schaeuble says euro zone savings deposits are safe

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said savings accounts in the euro zone are safe, adding that Cyprus is a “special case” and not a template for future rescues.

In an interview with Bild newspaper published on Saturday, Schaeuble distanced himself from comments on Monday by Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who said the rescue program agreed for Cyprus – the first to impose a levy on bank deposits – would serve as a model for future crises.

Mar 4, 2013

Swiss pay curbs find support in Germany, France

BERLIN, March 4 (Reuters) – A Swiss decision to impose tough
new controls on executive pay could encourage other European
countries to follow suit, with political leaders in Germany and
France voicing support for compensation rules modelled on those
of their smaller neighbour.

“The Swiss often show the way and personally I think we
should take inspiration,” French Prime Minister Jean-Marc
Ayrault said on Monday, a day after Swiss citizens voted in a
referendum to give shareholders veto rights on pay and ban big
rewards for incoming and outgoing managers.

Feb 26, 2013

Merkel’s centrist strategy angers conservatives

BERLIN, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Germany’s Christian Democrats
used to joke that even a drunken supporter woken from a deep
slumber could leap to attention and rattle off the party’s
policy positions.

But Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed her centre-right
party so far from its bedrock conservative roots in the run-up
to September’s election that even sober CDU voters are having a
hard time remembering what their party stands for these days.

    • 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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