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Oct 22, 2013

Economy, energy center stage as German coalition talks begin

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) start hammering out compromises on economic, energy and euro policies on Wednesday, the opening day of talks on a coalition government that should be in place by Christmas.

Germany’s European partners will be watching the negotiations closely, hoping for a swift deal that allows the bloc to meet looming deadlines for its ambitious banking union.

Oct 12, 2013
via FaithWorld

German Catholic Church takes “luxury bishop” scandal to “pope of the poor”


(Limburg cathedral and a bridge over the Lahn River, 19 June 2010/Berthold Werner)

The head of Germany’s Roman Catholic Church has said he would discuss with Pope Francis a scandal over a bishop who has been criticized for splashing out on a luxury residence and accused of lying under oath about a first-class flight.

Sep 26, 2013

Merkel looks left to rescue Germany’s energy revolution

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s best
hope of saving her bold energy revolution may lie in a coalition
with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who could agree to
modest cuts to costly incentives for green power which are,
paradoxically, driving up energy prices.

The German chancellor’s experiment to wean Europe’s biggest
economy off nuclear and fossil fuels and push it into renewables
is at risk because generous subsidies have proved so popular
with investors in green power that the country is straining
under the cost.

Sep 22, 2013

German euroskeptics on the rise, liberals in decline

BERLIN (Reuters) – A new anti-euro party narrowly missed entering parliament in a German election on Sunday, drawing millions of voters with a euroskeptic message that may have laid the foundations for a strong challenge in a European Parliament vote next year.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), formed just seven months ago to tap into resentment in Europe’s biggest economy about bailouts for weak euro zone states like Greece, generated a late surge in support to score 4.8 percent.

Sep 18, 2013

German left keeps its own Merkel waiting in the wings

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.

Sep 11, 2013
via FaithWorld

German court rules Muslim girls must join swimming classes


(Twenty-year-old trainee volunteer surf life saver Mecca Laalaa runs along North Cronulla Beach in Sydney during her Bronze medallion competency test January 13, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

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.

Aug 28, 2013

Ballooning costs threaten Merkel’s bold energy overhaul

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.

Aug 27, 2013

Merkel faces pre-election balancing act on Syria

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.

Aug 25, 2013

Merkel tries to reassure nervous German voters over Greece

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.

Jul 26, 2013

German president says whistleblowers like Snowden merit respect

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.

    • 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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