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Jan 26, 2015

Rock concert, rallies overwhelm Germany’s anti-Islam group

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s anti-Islam PEGIDA movement was overwhelmed by opponents of the far-right group at a rock concert for tolerance in Dresden on Monday and enormously popular counter-demonstrations in cities across the country.

More than 22,000 cheered German rock stars at an anti-PEGIDA rally in Dresden, where the movement that argues the country is being overrun by Muslims and refugees began in October. In Frankfurt 70 PEGIDA backers were outnumbered by 15,000.

Jan 26, 2015

Merkel says Germans must fight anti-Semitism and racism

BERLIN, Jan 26 (Reuters) – On the eve of Tuesday’s 70th
anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at
Auschwitz, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germans had an
everlasting responsibility to fight all forms of anti-Semitism
and racism.

In what appeared to be an indirect reference to the
grass-roots PEGIDA movement, which argues that Germany is being
overrun by Muslims and refugees, Merkel told a memorial for the
victims of Auschwitz: “We’ve got to fight anti-Semitism and all
racism from the outset.”

Jan 25, 2015

Bundesbank’s Weidmann casts doubt on effectiveness of ECB’s QE

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, an unabashed critic of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing (QE), told a German newspaper on Sunday he had doubts about the effectiveness of the ECB bond-buying plan.

Weidmann, who is on the ECB’s Governing Council, told Welt am Sonntag newspaper that he voted against the move and said the sluggish growth in Europe was largely due to high levels of debt and a lack of competitiveness in some individual countries.

Jan 22, 2015

Wary Germans warn ECB cash machine won’t get Europe on its feet

BERLIN (Reuters) – The ECB’s plan to pump cash into the euro zone met with dismay in Europe’s biggest economy, with many Germans worried they will bankroll measures that remove incentives for struggling member states to carry out the reforms prescribed by Angela Merkel.

The chancellor, paying lip service to the independence of the European Central Bank, reiterated her usual comment that the ECB’s bond-buying program “should not obscure” the need for structural reforms driven by member states’ politicians.

Jan 18, 2015

Insight – German eurosceptic party at crossroads before key election

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Sounding more like the economics professor he once was than the dangerous far-right firebrand some say he has become, Bernd Lucke spoke at length about the perils of the euro zone and unfettered immigration at a campaign rally last week.

Some 400 conservative, grey-haired men had gathered in a basement of a Hamburg skyscraper on a stormy night to hear the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party founder, a 52-year-old father of five.

Jan 18, 2015

German eurosceptic party at crossroads before key election

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) – Sounding more like the economics professor he once was than the dangerous far-right firebrand some say he has become, Bernd Lucke spoke at length about the perils of the euro zone and unfettered immigration at a campaign rally last week.

Some 400 conservative, gray-haired men had gathered in a basement of a Hamburg skyscraper on a stormy night to hear the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party founder, a 52-year-old father of five.

Jan 18, 2015

Germany’s anti-Islam PEGIDA march canceled due to attack threat

BERLIN (Reuters) – A march by the German anti-Islam PEGIDA movement in the eastern city of Dresden planned for Monday has been canceled due to a concrete threat of an attack against one of its leaders at the weekly rally, police in Dresden said on Sunday.

Confirming an announcement made on PEGIDA’s facebook page, a spokesman for the Dresden police said that they had placed a “general ban” on all public gatherings on Monday. That included the group that calls itself “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West”.

Jan 13, 2015

Revived Nazi-era term ‘Luegenpresse’ is German non-word of year

BERLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A German linguists’ panel has
chosen a Nazi-era term “Luegenpresse” (lying press), which
anti-immigrant protesters have revived and shouted at the media,
as the country’s non-word of the year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the demands – an end
to multiculturalism – of the grassroots “Patriotic Europeans
against the Islamisation of the West” (PEGIDA) at weekly rallies
as “reprehensible” and said her conservative-led government
would use all constitutional means to fight intolerance.

Jan 9, 2015

Binoche Greenland drama to open Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN (Reuters) – A world premiere starring Juliette Binoche called “Nobody Wants the Night” was picked on Friday to open the 65th annual Berlinale, one of the most prestigious film festivals which features some 400 screenings.

Directed by Spain’s Isabel Coixet, “Nobody Wants the Night” is an historical drama set in icy Greenland in 1908 about courageous women and ambitious men. It will be one of some 23 films competing for the Golden Bear, and also stars Japan’s Rinko Kikuchi and Ireland’s Gabriel Byrne.

Jan 8, 2015

German fears of Islam rising as anti-immigrant protests grow

BERLIN (Reuters) – A new survey issued at a time when anti-immigrant street protests in Germany are gathering pace shows that an increasing majority of non-Muslim Germans feel threatened by Islam.

The survey, carried out by Emnid pollsters for the Bertelsmann Foundation think-tank, was taken in late November, before Wednesday’s mass killing in Paris by Islamist gunmen

    • 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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