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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.

Sep 15, 2014

Merkel won’t shift further right despite Eurosceptics’ gains

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday ruled out realigning her conservatives further to the right in order to fend off a growing challenge from Eurosceptics, who surpassed expectations

is state elections at the weekend.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) won more than 10 percent of the vote in Brandenburg and Thuringia, two east German states.

Sep 11, 2014

German eurosceptics eye new election gains

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s new eurosceptic party is poised to make strong gains in two regional elections this weekend, ratcheting up pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel who faces a threat on her right flank for the first time since taking power nine years ago.

The small but fast-growing Alternative for Germany (AfD) poached thousands of votes from Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) in an election in Saxony two weeks ago, winning nearly 10 percent of the vote there with a focus on law-and-order policies and conservative values.

Sep 4, 2014

Euro bailouts cause Germans more angst than Ukraine – poll

BERLIN, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Germans are much more worried
about how the lingering effects of the euro zone crisis will
impact their pockets than the risk of getting involved in
foreign conflicts like Ukraine, according to an annual survey of
German angst released on Thursday.

Even though the debt crisis in the currency zone has ebbed,
and been replaced by Ukraine in the news headlines, six out of
10 were concerned about the impact on German taxpayers of euro
zone bailouts. Less than four in 10 worried about Ukraine.

Sep 1, 2014

German euroskeptics chide Merkel after state surge

BERLIN (Reuters) – Riding a wave of momentum after a strong showing in a regional election, Germany’s new anti-euro party said on Monday it was time for Chancellor Angela Merkel to wake up and accept it as a new conservative force in German politics.

Like the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Britain and the National Front in France, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) has tapped into a vein of discontent with career politicians and bureaucrats, carving out a niche to the right of the mainstream parties.

Aug 31, 2014

Merkel’s conservatives set to hold Saxony, but euroskeptics gain traction

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are poised to cling on to power in Sunday’s election in the east German state of Saxony, but right-leaning rival Alternative for Germany (AfD) won its first seats in a state assembly.

Early results suggest that Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) will win with nearly 40 percent of the vote, which would be their worst election performance in the state they have run since German unification. The hardline Left and Social Democrats (SPD) were projected to take second and third.

Aug 26, 2014

German anti-euro party set for gains in eastern votes

FREITAL, Germany, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The Alternative for
Germany (AfD) looks set to win its first seats in a German state
parliament as it evolves from a single-issue eurosceptic party
into a law-and-order movement that could chip away at Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s conservative hegemony.

Three eastern regions, still struggling to catch up with the
richer west nearly 25 years after unification, hold elections in
the coming weeks – Saxony on Aug. 31, Thuringia and Brandenburg
on Sept. 14. The AfD has a chance of winning seats in all three.

Aug 18, 2014

German spying report angers Turkey, embarrasses Berlin

BERLIN/ANKARA (Reuters) – The German government faced an angry reaction from Turkey and accusations of hypocrisy from its own opposition on Monday after media reports that its intelligence agency spied on its NATO ally.

The reports also said the agency had listened to the phone calls of two U.S. secretaries of state – the kind of activity for which Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized Washington.

Aug 18, 2014

Ukraine, rebels accuse each other of attacking refugee bus convoy

KIEV/BERLIN (Reuters) – Ukraine accused pro-Russian rebels on Monday of hitting a refugee convoy of buses with rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk, killing people trapped in the burning vehicles, but the separatists denied responsibility.

Government forces kept up pressure on the separatists in fighting overnight into Monday, blockading or recapturing rebel-held positions after international talks failed to reach agreement on a ceasefire.

Jul 18, 2014

Merkel challenges Putin after Ukraine crash but wary on further sanctions

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel challenged Moscow’s attempt to pin the downing of a Malaysian airliner on Ukraine, pointing to Russia as a source of separatists’ weapons.

But she said it was too soon to talk about retaliatory measures.

The chancellor said there was evidence that the Malaysian Airlines (MASM.KL: Quote, Profile, Research) Boeing 777, which crashed into a field in Ukraine killing all 298 people on board, had been shot down.

    • 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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