Erik's Feed
Jan 28, 2014

Olympics-German engineering key ingredient for Games success

BERLIN, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Anyone who wants to understand why Germany has won more winter Olympic medals than any other country should pay a visit to a secretive state-sponsored engineering institute near the banks of the River Spree in a forgotten corner of east Berlin.

The high-tech tinkering by engineers at the FES Institute has helped Germany win many of its 128 Winter Olympic gold medals with state-of-the-art equipment and hopes are running high for another big haul in Sochi next month.

Jan 26, 2014

Snowden says ‘significant threats’ to his life

BERLIN (Reuters) – Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told German TV on Sunday about reports that U.S. government officials want to assassinate him for leaking secret documents about the NSA’s collection of telephone records and emails.

In what German public broadcaster ARD said was Snowden’s first television interview, Snowden also said he believes the NSA has monitored other top German government officials along with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Jan 26, 2014

German SPD leader raps ‘stupid’ eurosceptic campaign in Europe vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of Germany’s Social Democrats in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition on Sunday denounced eurosceptic parties on the far left and right as “stupid” and pledged a tough fight against them in the European parliamentary election campaign.

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, also Merkel’s economy minister and head of the Social Democrats, blasted the “uniting enemies of Europe on the left and right” over their anti-European campaigning for the May election.

Jan 26, 2014

Snowden says US NSA engages in industrial espionage-TV

BERLIN, Jan 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency
is involved in industrial espionage and will grab any
intelligence it can get its hands on regardless of its value to
national security, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden told a
German TV network.

In text released ahead of a lengthy interview to be
broadcast on Sunday, ARD TV quoted Snowden saying the NSA does
not limit its espionage to issues of national security and he
cited German engineering firm, Siemens as one target.

Jan 26, 2014

German minister dismisses fears of immigration from eastern Europe

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed fears that too many immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria were moving to Germany, saying his country had benefited from European Union integration more than any other.

Schaeuble indirectly criticized conservative allies in the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to his Christian Democrats (CDU), for fanning fears against immigrants, saying some sectors urgently needed migrant workers.

Jan 20, 2014

German car industry rocked by vote-rigging in auto prize

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Germany’s ADAC car
club, Europe’s largest and most influential, said on Monday
revelations it had falsified results of its annual car award
struck at the core of its credibility and critics raised
questions about its car safety tests.

Volkswagen said it was considering giving back the award.

ADAC communications director Michael Ramstetter resigned in
disgrace after conceding he manipulated the results of the car
club’s coveted “Yellow Angel” award for Germany’s favourite car,
which was won last week by the Volkswagen Golf model.

Jan 17, 2014

Germany welcomes Obama ban on spying on leaders of U.S. allies

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany welcomed a promise by U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to ban eavesdropping on leaders of close allies after ties were frayed last year by reports that the United States monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Berlin also said it would keep pushing for a sweeping “no-spy” accord with Washington, far beyond just Merkel, following the reports of secret surveillance of her phone by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Jan 16, 2014

No reason for ‘irrational inflationary fears’ – ECB’s Weidmann

BERLIN (Reuters) – The president of Germany’s Bundesbank said on Thursday there was no reason for “irrational inflationary fears” and dismissed suggestions of a danger of the euro zone falling into deflation, echoing the European Central Bank’s outlook.

Jens Weidmann also urged France to live up to its function as a role model and show its peers how to restore economic competitiveness, saying it was decisive for the recovery of the whole the euro zone.

Jan 14, 2014

Germany dismisses report “no-spy” talks with US close to collapse

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Tuesday brushed aside a report that talks with Washington to prevent further U.S. spying on German ministers faced collapse, saying it continued to push for a deal on the politically explosive issue.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said talks about reaching a “no-spy” agreement were proceeding. He would not comment directly on a Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper report that they were close to failing due to U.S. intransigence.

Jan 10, 2014

Hitzlesperger hopes coming out will raise tolerance

BERLIN (Reuters) – Thomas Hitzlsperger, the first well-known footballer from Germany to say he is gay, hopes it will one day be normal for players to talk about a boyfriend with team mates.

The 31-year-old, who won 52 Germany caps and also played for Aston Villa, VfB Stuttgart, Lazio, Everton and West Ham United, has sparked a national debate at home about tolerance.

    • 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