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Feb 17, 2012

German president set to resign, in blow to Merkel

BERLIN, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s hand-picked
choice for the ceremonial post of president was expected to
resign on Friday in a scandal over political favours, dealing a
blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone

Christian Wulff, who has been under fire for months, was to
give a statement at 1000 GMT. Merkel abruptly postponed a trip
to Rome where she was to hold talks with Italian Prime Minister
Mario Monti, and scheduled a news conference for after Wulff

Jan 27, 2012

Germans bury Prussia taboo to fete Frederick

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.

Jan 10, 2012

Newly bequeathed letter shows Beethoven’s misery

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.

Jan 5, 2012

German president under renewed fire after apology

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.

Jan 5, 2012

German media attack president after he vows to stay

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.

Jan 4, 2012

German president admits “grave mistake”, won’t resign

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.

Jan 4, 2012

Merkel backs German president amid media scandal

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.

Jan 3, 2012

Pressure mounts on German president after media threat

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.

Dec 4, 2011

Germany risks isolation in EU, warns ex-chancellor

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.

Dec 4, 2011

Afghans need decade of help, Karzai says before Bonn talks

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.

    • 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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