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Jul 9, 2013

Crisis of confidence in government handling of corruption, survey shows

BERLIN (Reuters) – A majority of people worldwide believes corruption has worsened in the last two years and they see governments as less effective at fighting it since the 2008 financial crisis, a survey by Transparency International organization showed on Tuesday.

The “Global Corruption Barometer” is the biggest ever conducted by the Berlin-based watchdog, with 114,000 people responding in 107 countries in the survey of opinions on corruption and which institutions are considered most corrupt.

Jul 8, 2013

Springsteen challenges his band with request orgy

LEIPZIG, Germany, July 8 (Reuters) – Bruce Springsteen
jumped off the stage and into a frenzied German crowd of 45,000
fans on Sunday in Leipzig to pluck a sign with a hand-written
request scrawled on it – as he has been doing all summer on his
popular tour across Europe.

But when Springsteen whirled around and held up the name of
the song for his band to see, jaws dropped and a frightened look
crossed their faces. The sign read “You never can tell” by Chuck
Berry, a 1964 tune made popular in the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction.”

Jun 26, 2013

German minister challenges Britain over spy programme

LONDON/BERLIN, June 26 (Reuters) – Germany’s justice
minister has written to two British ministers demanding to know
to what extent a British spy agency targeted German citizens in
a large-scale data trawling programme that has upset Berlin.

But Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman quickly dismissed
talk of a rift between Britain and Germany and said he did not
expect the issue to come up at a European Union summit this week
when Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet.

Jun 24, 2013

Merkel launches campaign with populist but costly promises

BERLIN, June 24 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
launched her re-election campaign on Monday with promises her
coalition partners dismissed as unaffordable and even one party
ally said would never see the light of day.

Merkel told leaders of her Christian Democrats (CDU) and
their Christian Social Union (CSU) sister party that if she is
re-elected she wants to raise child benefits, pensions for women
with children and pensions for low-income workers.

Jun 19, 2013

Obama turns JFK’s Berlin speech into new call for freedom

BERLIN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama offered a new twist on Wednesday to John F. Kennedy’s historic 1963 call for liberty — “Ich bin ein Berliner” — by saying other oppressed people eager to join the free world were also “citizens of Berlin.”

Just days before Berlin marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s clarion call for freedom, Obama opted to use that stirring Cold War speech as a forward-looking invitation for the world to do more to fight for liberty.

Jun 10, 2013

Germany’s Merkel snatches rent control issue from rival before election

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has stolen a page from the opposition’s campaign playbook ahead of the September election and is now calling for rent controls, a sign she is in a tight fight and does not want to risk upsetting Germany’s 40 million renters.

Merkel is well ahead of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in opinion polls for the September 22 election. But concern that the center-left could still win enough to form a coalition without her Christian Democrats (CDU) has pushed Merkel into unusual territory – diving into what is normally a local issue.

Jun 10, 2013

Merkel challenger sacks chief spokesman months before vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – German chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck, fighting an uphill battle to oust Angela Merkel, sacked his chief spokesman Michael Donnermeyer on Monday, the latest sign of disarray in his campaign just 104 days before the September 22 election.

A senior source in the Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters that Steinbrueck had decided to part company with Donnermeyer, a key ally who had previously worked as the spokesman for Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and former SPD leader Franz Muentefering.

Jun 3, 2013

Many German tax inspectors oblivious to Holocaust, book finds

BERLIN (Reuters) – Many low-level tax inspectors in Germany’s Nazi-era finance ministry were oblivious to the Holocaust and dutifully tried to contact murdered Jews whose wealth was being plundered by the ministry’s top officials, according to a new book.

Germans have publicly atoned for Nazi crimes in a myriad of ways over six decades, providing scores of billions of dollars in reparations to Holocaust victims, their descendants and the state of Israel. But only recently have leading government ministries come clean on their own particular Nazi past.

May 26, 2013

Merkel, Li call for end to EU-China solar trade row

BERLIN, May 26 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday called for an end to a
trade row between Europe and China over solar panels and
wireless equipment, telling a joint news conference they were
both for free trade.

The European Union accuses China of pricing its solar panels
and mobile telecom devices too cheaply and “dumping” them in
Europe to corner the market. It plans to impose duties on
Chinese panel makers.

May 26, 2013

Munich parties as Dortmund mourns in divided Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bayern Munich fans celebrated long into the night after their team’s 2-1 Champions League triumph over Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday ensured two defeats in the previous three finals were quickly forgotten.

More than 40,000 Bayern fans erupted in delirious joy when Arjen Robben scored the 89th minute winner as they watched the match on a chilly, wet night at a special public viewing event set up on Munich’s Oktoberfest grounds.

    • 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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