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Jun 14, 2013

Berlin goes slow on Turkey-EU talks, denies protest link

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is dragging its feet over letting Turkey take the next step in slow-moving membership talks with the European Union amid widespread concern over Ankara’s tough handling of anti-government protests, EU officials said on Friday.

Berlin has criticized Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s heavy handed response to two weeks of protests that began over a redevelopment project in an Istanbul park.

Jun 13, 2013

Steinbrueck urges Germans to wake up to Merkel’s shortcomings

BERLIN, June 13 (Reuters) – The centre-left candidate for
German chancellor in September’s election, Peer Steinbrueck,
dismissed Angela Merkel’s opinion poll lead on Thursday and said
she had lulled the country into a false sense of security.

With 100 days to go until the Sept. 22 election when Merkel
will seek a third term, the struggling Social Democrat (SPD)
candidate told foreign correspondents the contest would not be
decided until the last few weeks of the campaign.

Jun 13, 2013

G8 may discuss role of central banks: German source

BERLIN (Reuters) – Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations are likely to discuss the role of central banks and monetary policy at a summit in Northern Ireland next week, a German source said on Thursday.

“It is understandable that there are different views of the role of central banks and monetary policy around the world,” said the German official, noting that leaders of three euro zone states, the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia and Canada, would represent a wide range of views.

Jun 10, 2013

ECB to defend bond-buying plan in German courtroom duel

BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will defend its bond-buying programme in a German court this week against charges it is really an illegal scheme to fund euro zone members through the back door.

ECB President Mario Draghi has called the scheme “probably the most successful monetary policy measure undertaken in recent time”, and it is widely credited with restoring calm to the euro zone by easing fears of a breakup of the currency bloc.

Jun 5, 2013

Experts offer Merkel tips on how to cheer up the Germans

BERLIN, June 5 (Reuters) – “Happiness experts” from all over
the world offered Germany’s Angela Merkel tips on Wednesday on
how to cheer up her citizens, often stereotyped as prosperous
worriers who view their glasses as half empty rather than half
full.

A forum on “What Matters to People – Wellbeing and Progress”
heard from speakers whose common theme was that economic success
alone does not bring happiness.

Jun 4, 2013

German challenger accuses Merkel of ‘one-dimensional’ leadership

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s center-left challenger in elections later this year accused the German chancellor on Tuesday of “one-dimensional” leadership in the euro zone crisis and of failing to make Germany more pro-active on the broader world stage.

But Social Democrat (SPD) Peer Steinbrueck, who lags far behind Merkel in polls for the September vote, had few proposals in the main foreign policy speech of his campaign that differentiated him from the governing conservatives.

May 16, 2013

Berlin, Paris not ‘bosom’ buddies but get on fine, Merkel says

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not have a “bosom friendship” with her French counterpart, she said on Thursday, but her working relationship with Francois Hollande was strong and crucial for Europe.

With her foreign minister saying Germany must not act with “Teutonic arrogance” towards its euro zone neighbors, Merkel played down criticism she has received from France’s ruling Socialists.

May 7, 2013

German finance minister softens stance on EU banking union

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble signaled a softening of his stance on a European banking union on Tuesday, saying the euro zone should press ahead on the basis of current law without waiting for a controversial overhaul of the EU’s Lisbon treaty.

The banking union is a crucial part of Europe’s drive to overcome its financial and sovereign debt crisis. In a first step, it involves the creation of a Europe-wide banking supervisor under the hood of the European Central Bank. This is to be followed by a so-called resolution scheme to close or salvage struggling banks.

May 7, 2013

German FinMin softens stance on EU banking union

BERLIN, May 7 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble signalled a softening of his stance on a European
banking union on Tuesday, saying the euro zone should press
ahead on the basis of current law without waiting for a
controversial overhaul of the EU’s Lisbon treaty.

The banking union is a crucial part of Europe’s drive to
overcome its financial and sovereign debt crisis. In a first
step, it involves the creation of a Europe-wide banking
supervisor under the hood of the European Central Bank. This is
to be followed by a so-called resolution scheme to close or
salvage struggling banks.

Apr 30, 2013

Italy’s Letta tells Merkel Europe needs more growth

ROME/BERLIN, April 30 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister
Enrico Letta, fresh from winning a confidence vote in
parliament, told Germany on Tuesday his government would meet
its budget commitments but expected Europe to drop its austerity
mantra and do more to lift growth.

Speaking in Berlin on his first foreign visit since taking
office on Sunday, Letta warned that Italy’s February election,
which saw a surge of support for parties attacking the European
Union, showed that a change of course was needed.

    • 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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