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Dec 6, 2012

German state premiers agree to push ahead with NPD ban

BERLIN (Reuters) – The heads of Germany’s 16 federal states unanimously agreed on Thursday to push ahead with a legal bid to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) despite reservations from Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The agreement follows a similar recommendation by regional interior ministers on Wednesday. The Bundesrat upper house, which represents the federal states, will now vote on December 14 on whether to file a case with the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

Dec 5, 2012

Germany moves towards ban on far-right NPD party

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany took a step towards banning the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) on Wednesday when politicians formally recommended going ahead with hotly disputed legal proceedings as dozens of right-wing party backers boldly demonstrated outside.

Calls for a ban of the NPD, which critics say is inspired by Hitler’s Nazis, have grown since it emerged last year a neo-Nazi cell had waged a racist killing spree over nearly a decade.

Nov 29, 2012

German right won’t snub Merkel in Greek vote: ally

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel will not need votes from opponents on the left to get a bailout for Greece through the German parliament, a senior ally said on Thursday, despite a growing revolt within the chancellor’s conservative coalition.

Less than a year before a general election in which she will seek a third term, Friday’s vote on measures agreed by euro zone finance ministers this week to cut Greek debt is widely seen as a test of Merkel’s authority over her own supporters.

Nov 28, 2012

German lawmakers condemn Google campaign against copyright law

BERLIN (Reuters) – Senior German politicians have denounced as propaganda a campaign by Google to mobilize public opinion against proposed legislation to let publishers charge search engines for displaying newspaper articles.

Internet lobbyists say they are worried the German law will set a precedent for other countries such as France and Italy that have shown an interest in having Google pay publishers for the right to show their news snippets in its search results.

Nov 18, 2012

ECB’s Asmussen sees Greek aid deal covering 2 years

BERLIN, Nov 18 (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymaker
Joerg Asmussen said on Sunday the euro zone should agree next
week on two years of funding for Greece and leave further help
to be decided later, a view likely to irk the IMF, which wants a
permanent solution.

“We should next week settle the financing for the years 2013
and 2014, but you have to be honest and say we do not really
expect the country to have access to markets in 2015 and 2016;
that means a follow-up programme would be necessary,” Asmussen
told German broadcaster ZDF.

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.

    • 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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