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.
BERLIN (Reuters) – To reach the Secret Cabinet, you pick up a map at a kiosk that leads you around the street corner to a tall, bottle green door that you enter to reach a flat whose backroom is carpeted with mirrors and stuffed with artworks.
This modern-day cabinet of curiosities or Wunderkammer, exhibiting the works of some 45 Berlin-based artists, is a protest against the way the social merry-go-round of Berlin’s art scene increasingly risks overshadowing the actual art.
BERLIN, March 10 (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition
Social Democrats (SPD) will back new euro zone budget discipline
rules on condition the government agrees extra measures like a
financial transaction tax, SPD leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier
told a German daily.
Chancellor Angela Merkel requires a two-thirds majority in
both houses of parliament to get new euro zone budget discipline
rules approved at home, given that they would affect national
sovereignty, making her dependent on the opposition.
Joachim Gauck, a former anti-Communist human rights activist in East Germany who is set to become the next German president, is a moral authority to be reckoned with. The Lutheran pastor, who has been called Germany’s answer to Nelson Mandela, was one of a number of Protestant clerics who helped bring down the communist East German regime, setting the stage for the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification in 1990.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Sunday to support former East German rights activist Joachim Gauck for the presidency, averting a fight with opposition parties that might have distracted her from tackling the euro zone crisis.
Merkel confirmed her support for Gauck, 72, two days after Christian Wulff, her hand-picked choice for president in 2010, resigned in a scandal involving financial favours.