HAMM, Germany, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Facing an election defeat
on Sunday, Germany’s Social Democrats are holding on to their
trump card, Hannelore Kraft, a popular former handball player
who is seen as the left’s answer to Angela Merkel.
Whether the SPD ends up sharing power in a grand coalition
under conservative chancellor Merkel or staying in opposition,
regional leader Kraft, whose name means “strength” in German, is
going to be a dominant force in the next four years.
A German court ruled on Wednesday that Muslim girls must take part in school swimming lessons with boys, in a landmark decision that touches on the sensitive relationship between religion and the state.
BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s “green revolution” risks becoming a victim of its own success.
Seduced by generous subsidies, Germans are embracing the ambitious project with such fervor – installing solar panels on church roofs and converting sewage into heat – that instead of benefiting from a rise in green energy, they are straining under the subsidies’ cost and from surcharges.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Just four weeks before she hopes to win a third term as German chancellor, Angela Merkel faces an unexpected problem that could damage her chances – how to respond to shocking pictures of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
She is caught between overwhelming opposition from German voters to military action in Syria and pressure from international allies to back their calls for “consequences”. Berlin’s decision two years ago not to support Western intervention in Libya has intensified that pressure.
BERLIN, Aug 25 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
sought to reassure voters on Sunday that Greece would not need a
debt writedown but left open the option of more aid for Athens
as she struggled to contain a dispute which could hurt her in
next month’s election.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble provoked a storm last
week when he told a campaign rally that a new rescue for Greece
was inevitable in comments that contradicted Merkel, who has
said it is too early to discuss additional aid.
The subject has dominated the election campaign ever since.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s president, who helped expose the workings of East Germany’s dreaded Stasi secret police, said whistleblowers like U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden deserved respect for defending freedom.
Weighing in on a debate that could influence September’s federal election, President Joachim Gauck struck a very different tone from that of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has assured Washington that Berlin would not shelter Snowden.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to reassure German voters on Friday that Germany is not a “surveillance state” and said she was pressing Washington for answers on reports of intrusive snooping by U.S. intelligence.
Revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs have filled German newspapers in the last two weeks and have become a headache for Merkel ahead of a September 22 election in which she is tipped to win a third term.
BERLIN, July 17 (Reuters) – Police raided premises in
Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands on Wednesday seeking
evidence of planned terrorist attacks by a far-right group
calling itself the “Werewolf Squad”, German prosecutors said.
The Spiegel Online website said the group was suspected of
planning bomb attacks and had modelled itself on the “Werewolf”
commandos whom the Nazis planned to send behind enemy lines
towards the end of World War Two.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A “last chance” campaign to root out surviving Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice before they die will be launched next week in Germany, almost 70 years after the end of World War Two.
Nazi-hunters have been encouraged by the prosecution last month in Hungary of 98-year-old Laszlo Csatary for helping to deport Jews to Auschwitz and by the arrest in Germany of Hans Lipschis, a suspected former guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Sunday to push for tougher EU data protection rules and force Internet firms to be more open as she tried to reassure voters before a September election about intrusive snooping by U.S. intelligence in Germany.
In an interview with ARD television, Merkel also said she expected the United States to stick to German laws in future, the closest she has come to acknowledging that its spying techniques may have breached German rules.