Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Apr 10, 2014

Russia may change budget rules to cope with Crimea: deputy PM

BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia may change its budget rules to reflect the addition of Crimea and its population of about 2 million people, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was quoted as saying on Thursday during a visit to Berlin.

He told a German newspaper that Crimea – the Ukrainian Black Sea territory annexed by Moscow last month – needed investment in infrastructure that could not be covered by existing funds.

Mar 28, 2014

China takes no sides on Ukraine crisis, Xi tells Europe

BERLIN (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping said on Friday China would not take sides with the West or Russia over Ukraine, disappointing any hopes Beijing might add its weight to international pressure on Moscow for annexing Crimea.

“China does not have any private interests in the Ukraine question,” Xi told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “All parties involved should work for a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

Mar 26, 2014

Germany tackles benefit abuse as migration soars from eastern EU

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany expects the number of Romanians and Bulgarians moving to the country to double this year, now that they are free to work anywhere in the European Union, and will defend its welfare system from potential abuse, the government said on Wednesday.

Economic growth and low unemployment in Germany are luring EU citizens taking advantage of free labor movement in the bloc, and industry is short of workers. But EU expansion to the east has fuelled fears of an influx of people fleeing poverty.

Mar 24, 2014

German panel proposes tighter controls on EU migrant benefit abuse

BERLIN, March 24 (Reuters) – A government panel has
recommended that Germany screen job-seekers from other European
Union states for “welfare tourists” and people not qualified for
employment and then expel benefit fraudsters and block their
return for a fixed period.

Economic growth and low unemployment make Germany a magnet
for EU citizens taking advantage of free movement in the bloc,
and industry is short of workers. But there are also fears of an
influx of Romanians and Bulgarians fleeing poverty since these
countries gained full access to the EU jobs market this year.

Mar 13, 2014

Russia holds war games near Ukraine; Merkel warns of catastrophe

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, showing no sign of backing down in its plans to annex its neighbor’s Crimea region despite a stronger than expected drive for sanctions from the EU and United States.

In an unusually robust and emotionally worded speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “catastrophe” unless Russia changes course.

Mar 13, 2014

Merkel warns Russia of “massive damage” if it persists

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel warned
Moscow on Thursday that it risked “massive” political and
economic damage if it refused to change course on Ukraine,
saying Western leaders were united in their readiness to impose
sanctions on Russia if necessary.

The chancellor, using her strongest language since the start
of the crisis and removing any suspicion that Germany might seek
to avoid a confrontation with President Vladimir Putin, said his
actions would lead to “catastrophe” for Ukraine and much more.

Mar 13, 2014

Book Talk: Small, smart moves the key to “50 Shades” of success

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) – What do the fall of the Berlin
Wall, 90 million copies of the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of
Grey” and the accidental success of the online photo-sharing
service Flickr have in common?

A new e-book argues that they managed to harness pent-up
energy, luck, creativity and other phenomena to get “outsized
results”, and that entrepreneurs or activists can emulate this
with a strategy called “Scaling” – the book’s title.

Feb 18, 2014

Merkel urges patience with Swiss after immigration vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday against rushing to retaliate against Switzerland for its vote to curb immigration, saying Europe’s own interests were best served by waiting to see how the Swiss implement the referendum result.

“It can’t be that because one side did something in one specific area that the other side says nothing works in other areas,” Merkel said after talks with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who is also the country’s foreign minister.

Feb 13, 2014

Chinese directors master Nordic noir, shoot-’em-up Western

BERLIN, Feb 13 (Reuters) – An overweight detective with a
drinking problem and a fresh divorce stumbles through the snow
to catch a killer armed with ice-skates, showing China has no
need to envy the Nordics when it comes to crime in a cold

A city lawyer rides through the desert on horseback with a
satellite navigator to rescue a girl from a deadly smuggler. Not
Arizona but China again, showing it may have something to teach
Quentin Tarantino when it comes to spaghetti Westerns.

Feb 11, 2014

Monster or god? Nick Cave explores rock performance in new film

BERLIN, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Australian singer-songwriter Nick
Cave – who has conjured up so much horror, lust and murder as
well as haunting love songs in three decades fronting “The Bad
Seeds” – worries that technology could destroy the mystique of
live rock performance.

The 56-year-old cult musician, scriptwriter and novelist,
presenting his latest cinema project – “20,000 Days on Earth” –
at the Berlin Film Festival, said in an interview on Tuesday
that live music should be a “transformative” experience.

    • 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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