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Oct 18, 2014

Berlin gets a less glamorous mayor with focus on economy

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German capital will replace its party-loving mayor Klaus Wowereit with little-known politician Michael Mueller, the city’s Social Democrats (SPD) decided in a vote on Saturday.

Wowereit, famous for describing Berlin as “poor but sexy”, announced in August that he would quit in December, two years before the end of his term. Since then three SPD candidates have been jostling for support.

Oct 18, 2014

German train strike leaves millions stranded

BERLIN (Reuters) – Millions of passengers were left stranded across Germany on Saturday after train drivers began a 50-hour strike that halted two thirds of long-distance trains in a dispute over pay and negotiation rights.

The GDL drivers’ union started their action at 2 am on Saturday morning for passenger trains. They return to work on Monday morning. Freight train drivers started their strike 11 hours earlier on Friday afternoon.

Oct 15, 2014

German arms export figures raise questions about new curbs

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s government defended its new, more restrictive policy on arms exports after critics jumped on new figures showing deals with countries outside the European Union and NATO fell only marginally in the first half of the year.

In response to criticism of arms sales to unstable regions like the Middle East, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has taken a more cautious approach to approving exports since his Social Democrats joined Angela Merkel’s conservatives in a coalition.

Oct 15, 2014

Bavaria may house overflow of refugees in Oktoberfest beer tents

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bavaria may house refugees in Oktoberfest beer festival tents as an influx of people fleeing war in Syria has stretched facilities to the limit, a leading newspaper said on Wednesday, highlighting a growing problem for Germany’s central government.

The prosperous German state’s ruling conservatives, part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc, worry that more support is seeping away to new rightist party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and many blame the recent surge in refugee numbers.

Oct 2, 2014

Row over East German crimes erupts 25 years after fall of Wall

BERLIN (Reuters) – A highly-charged debate on whether communist East Germany can be described as an “unjust state” is threatening talks on forming a government in an eastern region of Germany, highlighting lingering divisions 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The radical Left party is in preliminary talks about a three-way coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens in the small eastern state of Thuringia after an inconclusive election last month.

Oct 1, 2014

Nazi hunters seek German probe of WW2 death squad suspects

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Simon Wiesenthal Center has sent the German government a list of 80 people it believes murdered Jews while serving in Nazi death squads in World War Two and who may be still alive, the head of the Israel office of the organization said.

The push for an investigation into members of Einsatzgruppen, or death squads, was triggered by a landmark conviction in 2011 of John Demjanjuk, a guard at the Sobibor death camp, said the Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff.

Sep 23, 2014

German Eurosceptics pose credit risk for weak euro zone states: S&P

BERLIN (Reuters) – A surge in popularity for a German Eurosceptic party could hit weaker euro zone countries’ borrowing costs, rating agency Standard & Poor’s said on Tuesday as a poll put national support for Alternative for Germany (AfD) at a record high.

Founded last year to oppose euro zone bailouts, the AfD fell short of winning enough votes to enter the federal parliament in last year’s election but has since entered the European Parliament and assemblies in three of Germany’s 16 states.

Sep 18, 2014

Germany to cut support for overseas coal plants

BERLIN, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Germany plans to limit the
financial support that the KfW state development bank can give
to coal projects abroad, the environment ministry said on
Thursday, falling into line with wider international efforts to
limit global warming.

Critics of German energy policy argue that while Europe’s
biggest economy has embarked on a rapid expansion in renewable
energy at home, it continues to support coal – widely considered
a main contributor to global warming – both domestically and

Sep 4, 2014

Is Merkel’s green zeal turning brown?

BERLIN, Sept 4 (Reuters) – For all Angela Merkel’s
headline-grabbing “green revolution”, Germany’s image as a world
leader on environmental policies is in danger of falling under
the shadow of the smoke stack and a cloud of exhaust fumes.

Increasing dependence on brown coal has raised doubts about
whether Berlin will hit its medium-term CO2 emission goals. And
though EU regulations have helped bring down vehicle emissions,
critics denounce the political reluctance to confront Germans’
passion for big, fast cars.

Sep 4, 2014

German industry orders weather Ukraine crisis in July rebound

BERLIN, Sept 4 (Reuters) – German industrial orders rose at
their strongest rate in more than a year in July, raising hopes
that Europe’s biggest economy may yet weather the crisis in
Ukraine and bounce back after a tricky second quarter.

Economy ministry data released on Thursday showed a 4.6
percent month-on-month increase in orders, rising more than
three times faster than the Reuters consensus forecast for a 1.5
percent increase as demand from outside the euro zone surged.

    • 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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