BERLIN/BERN (Reuters) – Switzerland and Germany are to toughen their tax crackdown on secret Swiss bank accounts in a move that could pour billions of extra euros into German state coffers, but which does not go far enough for the country’s main opposition party.
The deal could end a diplomatic spat that has dragged on for years and net Berlin billions of euros in revenues from Germans who parked their cash in the small Alpine nation to avoid taxes, while preserving Switzerland’s cherished banking secrecy.
BERLIN/BERN, April 5 (Reuters) – Switzerland and Germany are
to toughen their tax crackdown on secret Swiss bank accounts in
a move that could pour billions of extra euros into German state
coffers, but which does not go far enough for the country’s main
Social Democrat (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel said his party
would vote against the revised deal when it goes to the
Bundesrat upper house of parliament, where Chancellor Angela
Merkel’s government needs opposition support to ensure passage.
BERLIN, April 2 (Reuters) – A German public sector wage rise
secured at the weekend is likely to bolster wage demands in the
private sector that will pressure companies but could also pave
the way for a much-needed revival of consumption without risking
undue inflation pressure.
Under a deal agreed on Saturday, around 2 million public
sector workers are set for a 3.5 percent pay increase this year
and a 6.3 percent increase over two years, including this year.
BERLIN, March 30 (Reuters) – Thousands of workers at
insolvent Schlecker drug store chain will soon find new jobs in
Germany’s buoyant economy, the government said on Friday, after
regional leaders failed to agree a rescue package for the ailing
Union leaders, politicians and media have criticised
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner, the
low-tax, pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), for torpedoing plans
for a 71 million euro loan guarantee to set up an agency for the
retraining and job placement of 11,000 Schlecker employees.
BERLIN, March 30 (Reuters) – German retail sales fell
unexpectedly in February, down 1.1 percent on a monthly basis in
real terms, denting hopes that private consumption will support
Europe’s largest economy in the first quarter.
The notoriously volatile indicator has fallen four out of
the last five months, contrasting with expectations for retail
to hold up well in the light of a robust labour market.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales to rise
1.2 percent on the month.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s jobless rate dropped to a new post-reunification low of 6.7 percent in March, bucking the trend in other euro zone countries and bolstering hopes that private consumption will underpin Europe’s largest economy this year.
Seasonally-adjusted data from the Labor Office showed that unemployment dropped for a fifth consecutive month in March by a stronger-than-expected 18,000 to a total of 2.841 million. The consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 35 economists was for joblessness to drop by 10,000.
BERLIN, March 26 (Reuters) – The startling success of
Germany’s new Pirate party in Sunday’s state elections in
Saarland underscores its status as a political force to be
reckoned with, as it is already shaking up established party
dynamics ahead of next year’s federal vote.
The Pirate Party, whose eclectic campaign is focused on
internet policies and broader participation in the political
debate, stormed onto the German political scene last year by
seizing 8.9 percent of votes for Berlin’s city assembly.
ZURICH/BERLIN, March 23 (Reuters) – Germany and Switzerland
are rushing to revise a tax deal on offshore accounts by the end
of March in an effort by Swiss officials to preserve the secrecy
underpinning the country’s $2 trillion banking industry.
The pact is meant to form the cornerstone of Switzerland’s
efforts to maintain its long-held banking secrecy by taxing
Swiss accounts and levying a punitive rate of interest for
BERLIN, March 22 (Reuters) – German unemployment will fall
for the third consecutive year in 2012 and the number of jobs
will reach a fresh record high since reunification, the Federal
Labour Office’s research institute IAB said on Thursday.
But the pace of decline in the number of jobless will ease
as the impact of past labour reforms designed to increase labour
flexibility gradually subsides, and the IAB urged employers to
create more well-paid jobs to help boost domestic demand.
BREMEN, Germany (Reuters) – German architect Rainer Mielke lives in a luxurious, light-filled penthouse atop a Nazi bunker that his elderly neighbors remember sheltering in during World War Two.
The architect has pioneered the art of converting the grim structures into bright living or working spaces, and his work is set to increase as Germany ramps up sales of the above-ground forts, originally designed as air-raid shelters.