BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats began a do-or-die campaign on Thursday to persuade nearly half a million grassroots members, many skeptical about governing with conservative Angela Merkel again, to back the “grand coalition” in a ballot.
Germany has already waited two months since the election for a new government. After Merkel and the SPD finally agreed the terms of an alliance, it must now wait until mid-December while the SPD seeks endorsement in an unprecedented ballot.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) reached a deal early on Wednesday on forming a “grand coalition” after wrangling through the night, meaning she should be able to form a government by Christmas.
Two months after Merkel’s landslide election victory and a month after negotiations began, Germany’s two biggest political forces clinched a deal at about 5 a.m. (0400 GMT) that both sides said they could live with.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has nothing new to say about instituting negative deposit rates, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, after a media report that the central bank was actively considering the move.
“Let me plead with you — don’t try to infer from what I say today anything on the possibility of negative rates on the deposit facility,” Draghi said in a speech at an event organized by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
BERLIN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel on
Thursday defended Germany against international criticism that
it was not doing enough to reduce its high trade surpluses and
rejected the idea that it should deliberately weaken its
Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said it was “absurd” to suggest
German companies should reduce their quality or that wages in
the export sector should be higher to weaken their competitive
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives and Germany’s Social Democrats have forged a political marriage before and know each other’s ways, but as a new “big day” approaches, they are having to work hard to convince skeptical party members and the business world that they should give it another go.
Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian allies were the clear winners in September’s election, taking 41.5 percent of the vote, but their former liberal partners in government lost all their seats, so the center-right still needs to form a coalition with the humiliated center-left.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The German recluse whose billion-dollar art hoard was seized by authorities has broken his silence to ask for the pictures back and to deny his father, an art dealer for Hitler, ever extorted any from Jewish owners.
In an interview with Der Spiegel, his first substantive comments since the mysterious trove was revealed two weeks ago, 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt recalled helping his father save some of the works from wartime Dresden and said the state had no right to impound treasures he called the love of his life.
LEIPZIG, Germany, Nov 15 (Reuters) – If you want to know how
rank-and-file Social Democrats (SPD) regard the prospect of
another ‘grand coalition’ government under Chancellor Angela
Merkel, look for the red hedgehog.
Listening to speeches at a party congress in Leipzig from a
stand emblazoned with their cute logo, four members of the “Over
60s Working Club” from the northern town of Schortens summed up
grassroots sentiment in one word: scepticism.
LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta warned on a visit to Germany on Thursday that stereotyping his compatriots as “lazy” or Germans as “selfish” would boost support for populists in next year’s European Parliament vote.
If the two countries are not careful, Letta told the party congress of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), “the campaign for the European election risks being full of reciprocal prejudices – the ‘selfish Germans’ against the ‘lazy, idle Italians’”.
LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have buried a taboo from the Cold War on working with the far left to show Chancellor Angela Merkel – and their own supporters – that the party will be no pushover in talks about forming a new coalition government.
The center-left SPD suffered its second-worst election defeat of the post-World War two era in September and is now negotiating its conditions for helping to form a government with the conservatives by Christmas.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has told Germany he is counting on international support to stop Washington’s ‘persecution’ of him for revealing the scale of its worldwide phone and Internet surveillance.
In an open letter to a country at the center of the row over U.S. spying on allies, Snowden said his revelations had helped to “address formerly concealed abuses of the public trust”.