BERLIN (Reuters) – A potential rival to conservative German Chancellor Angela Merkel could spring to national prominence later this month if she clinches victory for the Social Democrats (SPD) in a major regional election.
Polls indicate Hannelore Kraft, 50, a tram-worker’s daughter with a ready smile and common touch, will win the closely-watched May 13 vote in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and be re-elected premier of Germany’s most populous state.
A leading conservative politician said on Thursday that Islam did not belong in Germany, fuelling tension at a conference on integrating Muslims that also debated a controversial Salafist campaign to hand out copies of the Koran across the country.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A leading conservative politician said on Thursday that Islam did not belong in Germany, fuelling tension at a conference on integrating Muslims that also debated a controversial Salafist campaign to hand out copies of the Koran across the country.
“Islam is not part of our tradition and identity in Germany and so does not belong in Germany,” Volker Kauder, head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in parliament, told the Passauer Neue Presse.
BERLIN (Reuters) – One March day in the last weeks of World War Two, more than 70 German children squeezed into a plane designed for 14 hoping to be flown to safety from the advancing Soviet tanks in north-eastern Nazi Germany.
Minutes after takeoff the plane dived into an icy lake, killing everyone on board. Nearly 70 years later, former war foes Germany and Poland are joining forces to try to raise the wreck from Resko Przymorskie in western Poland.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition has inched ahead of the main opposition parties for the first time in two years, a poll showed on Sunday – thanks to a surge in support for the maverick Pirate Party at the expense of the Social Democrats.
An Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper put Merkel’s conservatives on 36 percent and their pro-business coalition partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), unchanged at 4 percent.
JERUSALEM/BERLIN (Reuters) – Israel declared Nobel Prize-winning German author Guenter Grass “persona non grata” on Sunday over a poem in which the former SS soldier described the Jewish state as a threat to world peace.
Grass would be barred from visiting for his “attempt to inflame hatred against the State of Israel and people of Israel, and thus to advance the idea to which he was publicly affiliated in his past donning of the SS uniform,” Interior Minister Eli Yishai said in a statement.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German police, facing accusations they bungled inquiries into a string of murders of immigrants, have this year arrested 46 people suspected of crimes linked to neo-Nazi groups and are hunting over 100 more.
An Interior Ministry document, released on Thursday by a left-wing parliamentary critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right government, described the arrests as a “success” in combating far-right crimes, which can range from displaying swastika tattoos and praising Hitler to inciting racial hatred, violence or theft and dealing drugs to finance militant groups.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel has dominated the German landscape for over half a decade, outmaneuvering and outshining would-be rivals to become the most popular political figure in the country.
After the election of Joachim Gauck to the post of president, however, the German chancellor may find herself sharing the spotlight with a man whose popularity rivals her own and whose willingness to speak his mind could make her life a little less comfortable.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A clothing company popular among neo-Nazis has provoked protests in Germany by calling one of its shops “Brevik,” similar to the name of Norwegian mass murderer and anti-immigration militant Anders Behring Breivik.
Mediatex apologized on Wednesday for causing offence, saying the shop was named after a Norwegian town and had nothing to do with Breivik who has admitted responsibility for a bomb and gun massacre in Norway in July.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s former presidents have dealt a humiliating blow to their disgraced successor Christian Wulff, who resigned last month over a political favours scandal, by shunning a torchlit military parade in his honour.
Nearly three weeks after quitting, Wulff continues to make headlines for accepting an annual pension of 199,000 euros (165,000 pounds) for the rest of his life despite spending just 20 months in office.