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Oct 29, 2014

Fifty-one countries sign OECD pact to tackle tax cheats

BERLIN (Reuters) – Finance ministers and tax chiefs from 51 countries signed an agreement on Wednesday to automatically swap tax information, which Germany’s finance minister said heralded the end of tax evasion via secret bank accounts.

“Let’s make a joint contribution to more transparency and fairness in our globalized 21st century,” Wolfgang Schaeuble told a taxation conference of about 100 countries coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Oct 28, 2014

Syria’s neighbors risk ‘host-country fatigue’, conference hears

BERLIN (Reuters) – Syria’s neighbors are approaching “host-country fatigue” because of huge demand from refugees for housing, schools, jobs and healthcare and scant resources like water, Jordan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Lebanon and Turkey echoed that message at an international conference in Berlin on what U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres called “the most dramatic humanitarian crisis the world has faced in a very long time”.

Oct 1, 2014

Manufacturing flaw halts some Eurofighter deliveries

BERLIN/VIENNA (Reuters) – A manufacturing problem has been discovered with the fuselage of Eurofighter combat planes, halting some deliveries, but none of the jets has been grounded, European military officials said on Wednesday.

The problem was caused by the way rivet holes were drilled in part of the rear fuselage of the European warplane, which is operating in the air forces of six countries.

Oct 1, 2014

Austria says Eurofighter has part problem, some deliveries halted

BERLIN/VIENNA, Oct 1 (Reuters) – A manufacturing problem has
been discovered with the fuselage of Eurofighter combat planes,
halting some deliveries, but none of the jets have been
grounded, European military officials said on Wednesday.

The problem was caused by the way rivet holes were drilled
in part of the rear fuselage of the European warplane, which is
operating in the air forces of six countries.

Oct 1, 2014

German defense crisis puts potential Merkel successor in hot seat

BERLIN (Reuters) – Ursula von der Leyen, whose ambitions of succeeding Angela Merkel are too transparent for German taste, is finding out the hard way why her job as defense minister is considered the most dangerous in the cabinet, nicknamed the ‘ejector seat’.

News that Germany’s military hardware is in such a state of disrepair that it is struggling to meet NATO commitments or keep a promise to arm Iraqi Kurds against Islamic State has put the minister in the firing line.

Sep 26, 2014

Berlin voices support for air strikes on Islamic State in Syria

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government offered clear support on Friday for U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants’ bases inside Syria, with an aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel pointing out that Damascus had not made any protest.

Germany looks unlikely so far to join in the attacks by U.S. and Arab forces against IS militants in northern and eastern Syria, though it has now sent weapons, military trainers and equipment to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq.

Sep 25, 2014

Germany wants investment clause scrapped in EU-Canada trade deal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will not sign a trade pact between Canada and the European Union unless an investment protection clause allowing companies to take cross-border legal action against governments is scrapped, Germany’s economy minister said on Thursday.

The deal with Canada could increase bilateral trade by a fifth to 26 billion euros ($34 billion) and is widely seen as a template for a larger trade pact between the EU and the United States, which would encompass about a third of global trade.

Sep 23, 2014

Samaras tells Germany that Greece can exit bailout early

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras expects his country to exit its international bailout ahead of schedule, and to cover its own financing needs from next year, he said on Tuesday after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We need to become a normal country, and we’ve proven that we are reliable and we can stand on our own feet,” he told a news conference with Merkel, who hailed the “first tender shoots of success” in Greece thanks to painful economic reform efforts.

Sep 22, 2014

Valls tells Germans France isn’t EU’s “sick child”

BERLIN, Sept 22 (Reuters) – France’s Manuel Valls used his
first visit to Berlin as prime minister on Monday to try to
convince Germany his government is serious about making its
economy more competitive, declaring that France “is not the sick
child of Europe”.

Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the reform steps he
outlined but said it was up to the European Commission to judge
whether Paris should be granted yet more time to bring its
public deficit down to EU treaty limits.

Sep 17, 2014

Emir assures Merkel Qatar doesn’t fund extremists in Syria, Iraq

BERLIN (Reuters) – Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani assured the West on Wednesday that it was not aiding Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, telling Germany that his own country’s security was jeopardised by the militants.

Last month, a German cabinet minister accused Qatar of financing Islamic State militants and the United States has expressed concern about funding from Arab states, although Qatar has now promised to support U.S.-led efforts to combat IS.

    • About Stephen

      "I moved to Berlin to run our German political, economic and general news file in 2010 after nearly four years as chief correspondent in Rome covering Berlusconi, the L'Aquila earthquake, G8 summit and Vatican. I was Nordic and Baltic bureau chief for 3-1/2 years and bureau chief of southern Latin America, based in Buenos Aires, for eight years including the Argentine collapse in 2001/2002. My first assignments for Reuters were in Spain, Portugal and our HQ in London. Before Reuters I worked for the Financial Times Group."
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