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Mar 28, 2014

Germany dismisses suggestions it’s soft on Russia

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is not trying to thwart a more forceful NATO reaction to Russia’s seizure of Crimea, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday in response to a newspaper report.

Brushing aside suggestions aired in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that Germany is “passive and hesitant” in NATO, Steinmeier said he had no desire to enter a “blame game” before NATO foreign ministers meet next week.

Mar 27, 2014

Putin’s apologist? Germany’s Schroeder says they’re just friends

BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) – Former German chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder has come under fire in Germany for defending
his close friend Vladimir Putin and warning of the perils of
isolating the Russian president over the crisis in Ukraine.

Schroeder, 69, has been excoriated for speaking out in
favour of Moscow and against the German government position, not
least because of his 250,000 euro salary as board chairman for a
pipeline joint venture with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.

Mar 19, 2014

As others mark World War One centenary, Germans prefer to forget

BERLIN (Reuters) – A simple plaque marks the forsaken spot where the Red Baron was buried in central Berlin but hardly anyone stops to remember the flying ace shot down in 1918. For Germans, the Great War holds so little interest.

The centenary of the outbreak of World War One has caught Germany off guard, while Britain, France, the United States and others mark it with battlefield tours, television programs, exhibitions and plans for ceremonies on the day, in August.

Mar 7, 2014

Bayern chief Hoeness to go on trial on tax evasion charges

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, once one of Germany’s most admired football managers, goes on trial on Monday charged with tax evasion in a case that has shocked the nation and changed attitudes towards paying taxes.

Hoeness, 62, who helped turn Bayern Munich into one of the world’s most respected football clubs and won the 2013 Champions League title, has said he voluntarily alerted tax authorities in January 2013 about his Swiss bank account and undeclared income.

Feb 20, 2014

Germany must play bigger global role, not dominate – president

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany has no desire to dominate other countries but it needs to leverage its post-war experiences of democracy and prosperity to play a bigger role on the global stage, President Joachim Gauck said.

Germany, still haunted by its Nazi past seven decades after the end of World War Two, remains reluctant to send troops abroad even on peacekeeping missions. It faced criticism from allies in 2011 for abstaining in a U.N. vote backing military intervention in Libya and declined to join the operation.

Feb 19, 2014

SPD politician apologises for resignation of German minister

BERLIN (Reuters) – A centre-left politician at the heart of a row inside Germany’s ruling coalition said on Wednesday he regretted having caused the resignation of one of Angela Merkel’s ministers as the chancellor sought to restore confidence in her government.

Merkel’s right-left “grand coalition”, which has been rocked by scandal in the last week, cannot afford distractions from its efforts to push on with complex reforms of the energy and pension systems in the European Union’s biggest and most prosperous economy.

Feb 18, 2014

Germany’s Merkel convenes allies to restore confidence after scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed to restore public confidence in her governing coalition at a meeting of party chiefs on Tuesday to clear the air after a scandal that poisoned the atmosphere.

Merkel’s right-left “grand coalition” can ill-afford distractions from its efforts to push on with complex reforms of the energy and pension systems in the European Union’s largest and most prosperous economy.

Feb 17, 2014

German coalition hurt by scandal but won’t break

BERLIN, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The fall of a conservative
minister has poisoned the atmosphere in Germany’s new left-right
coalition, but party leaders made clear on Monday they would not
let this derail the government at a sensitive moment for its
reform programme.

Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich’s resignation
prompted tit-for-tat calls for the Social Democrats, who share
power in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “grand coalition”, to offer
up a scalp of their own.

Feb 16, 2014

Germany’s Merkel to meet coalition leaders Tuesday as crisis looms

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet leaders of her coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Social Union (CSU), on Tuesday to try to resolve a crisis over the forced exit of a conservative minister.

The ouster of Hans-Peter Friedrich on Friday over his handling of confidential information about a looming inquiry into a SPD lawmaker suspected of possessing child pornography has split Merkel’s two-month-old coalition just as it was trying to enact urgently needed pension and energy reforms.

Feb 15, 2014

Hamburg sack coach Van Marwijk after losing run

BERLIN (Reuters) – Hamburg SV have sacked coach Bert van Marwijk after Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Bundesliga basement side Eintracht Braunschweig, a seventh straight league loss which left them second-bottom.

“We felt obliged to take this decision now although at the same time we regret it,” Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer said on Hamburg’s website (

    • 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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