Erik's Feed
Dec 13, 2012

Merkel coalition stymied by opposition veto on tax cuts

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition has suffered a humiliating defeat by the center-left opposition when lawmakers threw out a plan to cut income taxes by 6 billion euros.

Rejection of the plan, which had been seen as an election-year gift to voters, showed the waning strength of Merkel’s coalition nine months before the poll, analysts said.

Dec 12, 2012

German parliament panel rejects Swiss tax deal ahead of election

BERLIN, Dec 12 (Reuters) – A German parliamentary mediation
committee failed on Wednesday to reach an agreement on ratifying
a tax deal signed by the German government with Switzerland, a
battle tinged by next year’s federal election.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition had approved the
measure in the lower house, or Bundestag, to tax assets stashed
by German citizens in Swiss bank accounts, but opposition-led
states in the upper house, or Bundesrat, blocked the deal.

Dec 9, 2012

Germany’s SPD names former finance minister as Merkel challenger

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social Democrats (SPD) formally nominated former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck on Sunday as their candidate to run for chancellor against Angela Merkel in next September’s election.

Steinbrueck promised a more just society and called for a united fight against Merkel’s centre-right coalition in a speech aimed at winning over the hearts of the oft-divided centre-left SPD at a special party congress.

Dec 5, 2012

Egypt slips in corruption index despite Arab Spring

BERLIN, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Egypt has slid in a global league
table of perceived official corruption in the past year, and the
“Arab Spring” revolutions have yet to produce serious anti-graft
action across the region, Transparency International said on

In its annual Corruption Perceptions Index, the anti-graft
organisation said Egypt had fallen six places to 118th out of
176 countries as levels of bribery, abuse of power and secret
dealings remain high in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

Nov 25, 2012

Germany’s SPD leader admits problem with women voters

BERLIN (Reuters) – Peer Steinbrueck, leading his centre-left Social Democrat (SPD) party into September’s federal election against German Chancellor Angela Merkel, admitted that he has a problem with women voters and said he would not change to appeal to them.

“It may well be the case that I come across as too cerebral and not emotional enough for women between the age of 18 to their early 40s,” he said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper published on Sunday.

Nov 23, 2012

Steinbrueck says SPD-Greens ahead of Merkel bloc before vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s center-left opposition is closer to winning a majority in next September’s election than Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right alliance, Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck said on Friday.

In a fiery speech to SPD leaders, Steinbrueck acknowledged having initial problems in his campaign to oust Merkel’s government but pointed out that the SPD and their allies, the Greens, had moved ahead of Merkel’s coalition in the polls.

Nov 18, 2012

German Greens go mainstream in bid for power

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens have gone grey. The world’s most successful pro-environment party has turned deadly serious about gaining power by stealing votes from Chancellor Angela Merkel – and perhaps by joining her.

The muesli, woolly sweaters, thick beards and endless debates about abstract issues that were once part of any Greens congress are largely gone. In their place is a more mature party of smartly dressed professionals with one clear aim: getting back into government after federal elections next year.

Nov 17, 2012

German Greens avoid split by re-electing leftist

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens party re-elected its two party leaders on Saturday with overwhelming majorities that put to rest speculation of a schism between its centrist and left wings ahead of next year’s election.

Claudia Roth, a left-winger defeated a week ago in her bid to become one of two lead candidates in 2013, was elected to another two years as party co-chair with 88.5 percent backing.

Nov 16, 2012

German Greens want conservative voters, not alliance

HANOVER, Germany, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens do not
want to form a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
conservatives after elections next year, but hope to poach their
voters, the party’s co-chairman said on Friday.

There has been growing speculation that the party, which
began as a peacenik ecological movement on the far left, may be
heading for the unthinkable – a partnership with Merkel’s
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) that would keep her in power.

Nov 14, 2012

German Greens seek path to power, possibly with Merkel

BERLIN, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Once a fringe left-wing movement
born in the heat of 1970s radicalism, Germany’s Greens party may
be heading for the unthinkable – a partnership with the
conservatives that would keep Angela Merkel in power.

Greens leaders deny any interest in forming a coalition with
the Christian Democrats, but voting patterns and shared views on
a surprising number of key policies may push both sides to break
a taboo and form a ruling coalition after elections next year.

    • 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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