BERLIN, June 22 (Reuters) – German business sentiment fell
for a second straight month in June to its lowest level in over
two years, the latest sign Europe’s largest economy is no longer
immune to the sovereign debt crisis engulfing the euro zone.
Europe’s economic powerhouse had so far avoided the fate of
its euro zone peers thanks to strong exports away from the bloc
and healthy domestic demand, but increasing uncertainty over the
currency bloc’s prospects is starting to hit home.
BERLIN, June 21 (Reuters) – The German government and
opposition reached a deal on Thursday on growth that will allow
parliament to approve the euro zone’s permanent bailout scheme
next week, but Germany’s top court may delay the rescue fund’s
start date scheduled for July 1.
No sooner had Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government and the
centre-left opposition announced a breakthrough in eight weeks
of talks on how to stimulate growth and job creation in Europe
than the constitutional court threw a spanner in the works.
LONDON/BERLIN, June 13 (Reuters) – Uncertainty before Greek
elections prompted investors to pick up 10-year German bonds at
a sale on Wednesday, easing niggling concerns about the
country’s credit quality as the euro zone debt crisis drags on.
A sell-off in German debt over the past two sessions also
boosted demand for 4.04 billion euros of 10-year paper by
cheapening bond prices and pushing yields higher.
BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel and its
central bank pushed back on Tuesday against calls from other
parts of the euro zone for the rapid establishment of a banking
union, saying it could only come as part of a drive towards
The European Central Bank and European Commission are keen
to move swiftly to cross-border supervision of the bloc’s
biggest banks, and a deposit guarantee scheme, and see Spain’s
bank bailout as a first step in that direction.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s government was forced to defend an EU rescue for Spain’s indebted banks on Monday, with many Germans convinced their generosity is being abused and skeptics warning that promising aid without tough conditions sets a risky precedent.
Aides to the German chancellor justified the huge bailout on the grounds that the Spanish economy was not in such dire shape that it required the kind of terms imposed on Greece, and the aid would not be paid directly to Spanish banks but to the government.
KASSEL, Germany (Reuters) – Stroll through a park in the sleepy German town of Kassel this summer and you can explore fairytale cottages brimming with bizarre objects, hear the sounds of the Brazilian jungle and enter the set of a West African theatrical performance.
This is just one of the venues of “documenta”, one of the world’s biggest and most ambitious contemporary art fairs, which takes place every five years and which opens on Saturday.
MUNICH, May 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s best known economist
Hans-Werner Sinn wanted to become a missionary as a teenager.
His wife believes he is one.
The president of the influential Ifo think tank has been
advocating for Greece’s exit from the euro zone in newspapers
and talk shows for two years, convinced this is the only way for
the debt-laden country to avoid economic disaster and for
Germany to stop pouring money into a black hole.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel fired her environment minister on Wednesday after he led her party to a regional election defeat, replacing him with a loyal conservative ally to push through her plans to take German energy into the post-nuclear era.
Norbert Roettgen, a Merkel protege once see as a possible successor, was removed after his campaign to be premier of the most populous German state, North Rhine-Westphalia, ended in a historic defeat for the Christian Democrats (CDU) on Sunday.
BERLIN/PARIS, May 16 (Reuters) – Investors snapped up French
and German bonds at auctions on Wednesday, overlooking miserly
yields as they sought out assets most likely to withstand the
rising risk that Greece could leave the euro zone.
The political situation in Athens, where anti-bailout
momentum is gathering, has become so critical investors were
prepared to accept returns that were the lowest ever offered on
such debt, and not enough to compensate for expected inflation.
Leftists opposed to the reforms agreed with the European
Union and the International Monetary Fund under a vital aid deal
are favourites to win new Greek elections in June after talks to
form a government failed.
That prospect has raised fears the country could default and
quit the euro, sending shockwaves through markets, and pushing
borrowing costs for larger indebted states in the bloc such as
Spain and Italy rapidly towards unsustainable levels.
“We’re hearing more and more talk about Greece leaving the
euro zone, while this was a taboo subject a few months ago …
The result of the auctions just shows you how nervous markets
are,” said Viola Stork, fixed income analyst at Helaba
A German auction on Wednesday of 4.1 billion euros of its
benchmark July 2022 Bund drew above-average demand of 1.5 times
the amount sold and produced Germany’s lowest-ever cost of
10-year funds at an average 1.47 percent.
The relative health of Germany’s economy and public finances
mean its debt, rated triple-A by all three major credit rating
agencies, is among the world’s safest and most liquid assets.
The result contrasted with April’s debut sale of the same
bond, when a record low coupon of 1.75 percent stopped Germany
attracting enough bids to cover the full amount offered – an
illustration of how much sentiment has deteriorated in a month.
Meanwhile, demand at an auction of French five-year bonds,
the country’s first sale of medium-term debt since Socialist
Francois Hollande was elected president earlier this month, was
nearly threefold the amount of debt on offer.
France paid a record low cost of 1.72 percent as investors
bid above-market prices to secure the bonds, which offer
significantly higher returns than German, Dutch and other
top-rated euro zone debt. France is still rated triple-A by
Moody’s and Fitch, but was downgraded to AA+ by Standard &
Poor’s in January as part of a mass downgrade of euro zone
It also sold 1.182 billion euros of bonds linked to French
and euro zone inflation rates in a separate auction with
investors making bids worth 3.467 billion euros, also nearly
three times the amount on offer.
Some analysts saw the strong auction result as a sign that
markets were encouraged by the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting
between Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at which
they pledged to forge a joint approach in policy.
Instead of renegotiating the Merkel-backed European
agreement on budget discipline as some investors had feared
before the election, they are now expected to complement it with
a “growth pact”.
NEUMUENSTER, Germany, April 29 (Reuters) – With some
sporting pirate garb and black beards in light-hearted tribute
to their name, Germany’s Pirates party gathered in a small city
hall and in the vast open waters of cyberspace this weekend to
chart a course that may yet take them to the national
The party, which met in the northern city of Neumuenster,
aroused a mixture of rye amusement and angry derision when it
stormed onto the political scene last year garnering 8.9 percent
of vote in Berlin’s city assembly. Since then, however, it has
staked a claim to third place in the party pecking order,
garnering 11 to 13 percent in opinion polls.