POTSDAM, Germany (Reuters) – Portraits of Frederick the Great line the streets, bookshops are bursting with new biographies, talk shows debate his legacy and toymaker Steiff has made a limited edition teddy bear of the Prussian ruler in his blue uniform coat and tricorn hat.
Germans gearing up for a year of celebrations to mark Frederick’s 300th birthday are showing a new, relaxed pride in the much-disputed figure and in Prussia itself, long considered a byword for the militarism glorified by the Nazis.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A rare handwritten letter by German composer Ludwig van Beethoven complaining about illness and a lack of money has turned up at a northern German institute as part of a bequest, causing excitement among lovers of the musical genius.
The Brahms Institute in the northern city of Luebeck said the six-page letter bearing the composer’s signature and original seal was, in essence, an attempt to sell his well-known “Missa solemnis” mass which he completed in 1823.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper said on Thursday it planned to publish a potentially explosive transcript of a message left by President Christian Wulff for its editor trying to stop the publication of an embarrassing home loan story.
The move could further damage Wulff who on Wednesday went on television to try to defuse an escalating scandal about the private loan and his apparent attempt to pressure the paper.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German media and opposition lawmakers renewed their attacks on President Christian Wulff on Thursday after he went on television to try to defuse an escalating home loan scandal and made clear he intended to cling to his job.
Wulff looks set to ride out the storm for now, not least because he still has the backing of Chancellor Angela Merkel who pushed for his election to the largely ceremonial post in 2010.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German President Christian Wulff admitted on Wednesday making a “grave mistake” by trying to stop a paper publishing an embarrassing story about a home loan, but said he had no plans to resign.
The scandal that has swirled around Wulff since mid-December risks becoming a major distraction for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she tries to focus on solving the euro zone debt crisis.
BERLIN, Jan 4 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela
Merkel gave her backing on Wednesday to President Christian
Wulff, who has faced growing pressure to resign for trying to
stop Germany’s top-selling newspaper from publishing an
embarrassing story on a home loan scandal.
The scandal is becoming a major distraction for Merkel as
she tries to focus on solving the euro zone debt crisis. Critics
say it reflects badly on her judgement as she pushed for Wulff’s
election in 2010 over a popular opposition candidate.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German President Christian Wulff faced growing pressure to step aside on Tuesday after several conservative allies turned against him for trying to kill an embarrassing newspaper story on a home loan scandal.
Waning support from parties in Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition, which voted Wulff into office 18 months ago, underscored how precarious his position is and raised the risk of the scandal becoming a major distraction for the chancellor as she grapples with the euro zone debt crisis.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Former Social Democrat Chancellor Helmut Schmidt urged Germans on Sunday to soothe what he said were growing fears of German dominance in Europe and come to the rescue of debt-stricken euro zone partners.
In an hour-long speech to a party conference, the chain-smoking 92-year-old said Berlin risked isolation if it tried to impose its ideas on European partners. Instead, Schmidt argued, Germany should embrace further European integration.
BERLIN (Reuters) – President Hamid Karzai appealed to delegates at talks on the future of Afghanistan to support his nation with financial and military aid for a decade after troops withdraw to ensure a stable future, in a magazine interview on Sunday.
The conference in the German city of Bonn, which starts on Monday, takes place a decade after a first Bonn conference on Afghanistan which ended in high hopes for its future.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Finance Minister spelled out details on Saturday of his proposal for national redemption funds for excess sovereign debt which he intends to present at a crunch summit of EU leaders next week aimed at restoring confidence in the euro.
Wolfgang Schaeuble outlined his plans under which states would effectively siphon off a chunk of their debt to a special national fund and pay it off over about 20 years while committing to reforms to keep debt levels on target.