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Jul 3, 2013

Merkel hosts jobs summit, faces criticism

BERLIN (Reuters) – European leaders promised on Wednesday to step up the fight against soaring youth unemployment, but offered no new solutions or money at a meeting critics derided as a “show summit” to soften Angela Merkel’s image ahead of a German election.

The chancellor, whose insistence on spending cuts in return for aid during the euro crisis has made her a target of anger in recession-hit southern Europe, hosted about 20 of her EU counterparts a week after the bloc agreed to spend 6 billion euros over the next two years to combat youth joblessness.

Jul 3, 2013

Portuguese president seeks talks to avert bailout crisis

LISBON/BERLIN (Reuters) – Portugal’s president on Wednesday summoned the main political parties for crisis talks under pressure from investors who fear a snap election could derail Lisbon’s efforts to emerge from its international bailout.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva’s office said he met the leader of the main opposition Socialists on Wednesday, then the premier on Thursday and other parties after that. Under the constitution, he has the power to dissolve parliament and can act to mediate in political crises.

Jul 3, 2013

Merkel’s conservatives struggle for modern message in German cities

BERLIN (Reuters) – Tall, blond and smartly dressed, Lars Zimmermann is the kind of young man conservative German mothers would like their daughters to bring home to dinner.

Unfortunately, that is not the image he is trying to cultivate as the conservative candidate for parliament in Pankow, a trendy district of north-east Berlin where Angela Merkel’s center right party placed a dire fourth in 2009.

Jul 2, 2013

Merkel opponent derides jobless summit as cynical ploy

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s summit on youth unemployment in Europe is an attempt to paper over the economic consequences of the austerity policies she championed in the region, a leading member of Germany’s opposition Social Democrats (SPD) said on Tuesday.

Andrea Nahles, General Secretary of the SPD and manager of the center-left party’s campaign to unseat Merkel in a September election, said the chancellor had already held several “show summits” on a range of issues that yielded no results.

Jul 1, 2013

Germany says Cold War tactics don’t help EU-U.S. trade talks

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany said on Monday if media reports of large-scale U.S. spying on the European Union were confirmed, it would be unacceptable Cold War-style behavior between partners who require trust to forge a new transatlantic trade area.

“If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

Jun 19, 2013

Obama challenges Russia to agree to deeper nuclear weapon cuts

BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama used a speech in Berlin on Wednesday to call on Russia to revive the push for a world without nuclear arms by agreeing to target further reductions of up to one third of deployed nuclear weapons.

Speaking in Berlin where John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan gave rousing Cold War speeches, Obama urged Russia to help build on the “New START” treaty that requires both countries to cut stockpiles of deployed nuclear weapons to 1,550 each by 2018.

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.

    • 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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