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Nov 14, 2012

German ministry scorns far-right NPD court bid

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s government dismissed as nonsense an attempt by the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) to get the country’s top court to rule that it is constitutional, an unprecedented move that could block any future bid to ban it.

The NPD filed the motion with the Karlsruhe-based Constitutional Court on Tuesday and a court spokesman said the case was a first time in post-war German history that a party had sought such legitimisation.

Nov 7, 2012

Spain delays plan to feed African solar power to Europe

BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Desertec, the world’s most
ambitious solar power initiative, said on Wednesday that partner
Spain was holding up its first concrete deal to feed solar power
from northern Africa to Europe.

The consortium of 57 partners from 16 countries, had hoped
to announce an agreement to build a 500 megawatt (MW) solar
power plant in Morocco at a conference in Berlin but Spain’s
reservations highlighted the complexities of the initiative.

Nov 1, 2012

The Devil’s General? German film seeks to debunk Rommel myth

BERLIN (Reuters) – Erwin Rommel, the World War Two German field marshal celebrated as the brilliant and humane “Desert Fox”, is portrayed in a new film as a weak man torn by his loyalty to Adolf Hitler and the dawning realization that he was serving a devil.

The drama, due to be broadcast on the public ARD television on Thursday, has angered Rommel’s son and granddaughter who believe it underplays his role in the resistance against Hitler.

Oct 18, 2012

Merkel urges stronger EU budget powers ahead of summit

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel called ahead of an EU summit for stronger central powers to intervene when member states break budget rules and rebuffed demands from Berlin’s partners for the quick creation of a pan-European bank supervisor.

In a speech to the lower house of parliament hours before EU leaders meet, the chancellor put herself on a collision course with French Socialist President Francois Hollande and others, who are reluctant to cede sovereignty over fiscal policy and want the ECB to get new watchdog powers by year-end.

Oct 9, 2012

Pussy Riot prize nomination stirs row in German town

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German town where Martin Luther helped inspire the Protestant Reformation five centuries ago has drawn accusations of honoring blasphemy for nominating Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot for a freedom of speech prize.

Politicians in Lutherstadt Wittenberg have recommended Pussy Riot for the national “Fearless Word” prize in honor of Luther, a monk excommunicated and outlawed after nailing 95 theses to a church door in 1517 and criticizing the mighty Catholic Church.

Sep 20, 2012

Merkel turns to ex-mentor Kohl to sell Europe to Germans

BERLIN, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel is seeking help
from her estranged, former mentor Helmut Kohl, architect of the
euro, to restore voter faith in the European project before next
year’s election.

Realising her own future is tied to that of the EU, Merkel
has in the last month softened her rhetoric towards the most
indebted euro zone states. Next week she will make a rare joint
appearance with former Christian Democrat (CDU) chancellor Kohl.

Sep 10, 2012

Germans trust pragmatic top judge to walk euro tightrope

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel may be the most powerful woman in Europe, but this week the chancellor’s plans to save the euro lie in the hands of Andreas Vosskuhle, the supreme court judge known as Germany’s most powerful man.

In a ruling with global ramifications, the Constitutional Court is expected on Wednesday to allow an EU bailout fund and budget pact, although most legal experts expect it to impose conditions to show that parliament controls Germany’s budget.

Jul 25, 2012

German court dumps election law that favored Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s top court ruled on Wednesday that the country’s election law is unconstitutional, leaving Europe’s biggest economy with no valid rules on how to distribute seats in the Bundestag lower house just over a year before the next vote.

The Karlsruhe-based Constitutional Court upheld a case brought by the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and more than over 3,000 citizens against the law, which was altered by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition last year.

Jul 24, 2012

Moody’s warning fuels German resentment over euro bailouts

BERLIN, July 24 (Reuters) – The prospect of Europe’s biggest
economy losing its cherished AAA credit status has unsettled
Germans, already angry about footing the bill for bailouts, and
triggered calls for an even tougher stance on Greece and other
euro zone laggards.

While politicians and economists were at pains to argue that
Moody’s downward revision to Germany’s credit rating outlook
would have little immediate impact on borrowing
costs, ordinary Germans said they were worried.

Jul 19, 2012

German parliament defends circumcision after court ban

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a resolution on Thursday to protect the religious circumcision of infant boys after a district court ban on the practice outraged Muslims and Jews and sparked an emotional debate in the country.

The main political parties have criticised the ruling by a Cologne court and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has promised a new law to make clear doctors or families will not be punished for carrying out the procedure.

    • About Madeline

      "Madeline has been a correspondent in the Berlin bureau since 2006. Before that, she was a parliamentary correspondent in London and an equities reporter in Frankfurt. She has also worked in Vienna and for a variety of UK newspapers."
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