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Jun 11, 2014

Germany eyes more cautious arms export policy after 2013 surge

BERLIN, June 11 (Reuters) – Germany said on Wednesday it
would adopt a more cautious approach towards arms exports after
a 24 percent surge last year helped by deals with Saudi Arabia,
Qatar and Algeria that have fuelled a domestic debate on
military sales.

Despite Germany’s tendency to frown on matters military
because of its Nazi past, it was the world’s third largest arms
exporter after the United States and Russia from 2008 to 2012.
The report published on Wednesday showed that arms sales abroad
jumped by about a quarter to 5.85 billion euros last year.

Jun 5, 2014

New fracking rules won’t change tough German stance on shale gas

BERLIN, June 5 (Reuters) – The German government made clear
on Thursday that new rules it is preparing on the controversial
technique of fracking for gas would set tough environmental
standards that will all but rule out the widespread exploration
of shale gas.

News on Wednesday that Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar
Gabriel is working on new guidelines for fracking had raised
hopes that Germany was opening the door to shale gas extraction
despite concerns about its environmental impact.

Jun 4, 2014

German official signals help for utilities’ loss-making plants

BERLIN, June 4 (Reuters) – Germany will soon develop plans
on how to keep loss-making conventional power plants open, a
senior energy ministry official said on Wednesday, a policy
utilities have pushed for as Europe’s biggest economy expands
green energy.

In one of the clearest signals yet that Berlin is committed
to such a move, Uwe Beckmeyer, parliamentary state secretary in
the economy and energy ministry, said Germany would have to
explain how it would develop a so-called “capacity mechanism”.

Jun 3, 2014

German state allows Vattenfall to expand brown coal mining

BERLIN, June 3 (Reuters) – The eastern German state of
Brandenburg approved plans on Tuesday to allow utility
Vattenfall to mine a further 200 million tonnes of
brown coal from 2026, a move critics say will cause pollution
and also force 800 people from their homes.

The decision by Brandenburg’s cabinet, made up of
centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the more radical Left
party, highlights the complexities of Germany’s energy policy,
which aims to promote renewable energy.

May 20, 2014

Top German Nazi-hunter readies Majdanek death camp cases

BERLIN (Reuters) – Prosecutors in Germany will soon get files on former guards at a Nazi death camp who could still be charged for their role in the Holocaust, the country’s top war-crimes investigator said on Tuesday, although he added that lack of evidence will keep many of the cases from going to trial.

“These investigations are largely completed,” Kurt Schrimm, the head of the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes, told reporters. In the next two weeks, he said, the files will be handed over to prosecutors, who will then decide whether to press charges.

May 7, 2014

Weak French output casts doubts on growth, German industry orders slump

PARIS/BERLIN, May 7 (Reuters) – French factories produced
much less than expected in March while German industry orders
unexpectedly fell the most in 1-1/2 years, data showed on
Wednesday, feeding speculation of fresh European Central Bank
action to support the euro zone recovery.

France also reported a wider trade deficit, casting doubt on
President Francois Hollande’s recent predictions that the bloc’s
second-largest economy is finally turning around.

May 7, 2014

Ukraine’s Poroshenko urges more sanctions if Russia backs referendum

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko urged Europe and the United States to agree on a third wave of sanctions against Russia if the Kremlin supports a referendum organized by separatists in eastern Ukraine on May 11.

Separatists in the Donbass region say they will hold a referendum on secession on Sunday, similar to the one that preceded Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March. But such a move could complicate Ukraine’s May 25 presidential elections.

Apr 18, 2014

Glass half empty for Germany’s proud beer industry

FREISING, Germany, April 18 (Reuters) – Behind the pale
yellow walls of a former Benedictine monastery on a wooded hill
near Munich, the master brewers of Weihenstephan are still
perfecting their art after nearly 1,000 years of making beer.

Since Saint Corbinian and his monks first created a golden,
nourishing beverage from local hops, the world’s oldest brewery
has withstood fires, plagues, plundering foreign armies and
secularisation.

Apr 10, 2014

Russia may change budget rules to cope with Crimea: deputy PM

BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia may change its budget rules to reflect the addition of Crimea and its population of about 2 million people, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was quoted as saying on Thursday during a visit to Berlin.

He told a German newspaper that Crimea – the Ukrainian Black Sea territory annexed by Moscow last month – needed investment in infrastructure that could not be covered by existing funds.

Apr 8, 2014

Germany ushers in renewable energy reform

BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
cabinet approved on Tuesday a reform of Germany’s renewable
energy law designed to curb a rise in the cost of electricity in
Europe’s biggest economy driven by the rapid expansion of green
power.

The reform will slow the growth of green energy, which
accounts for 25 percent of Germany’s electricity, and force new
investors in green power to take some risk.

    • 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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