Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Sep 23, 2013

Merkel romps to victory but faces tough coalition choices

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in Germany’s general election on Sunday, but her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own and may have to convince leftist rivals to join a coalition government.

Partial results put support for Merkel’s conservative bloc on 42 percent, their strongest score since 1990, the year of German unification, and a ringing endorsement of her steady leadership during the euro zone crisis.

Sep 22, 2013

Merkel romps to victory in German election

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel was on track to win a third term as chancellor in a German election on Sunday after her conservatives scored their best result in decades, but it was unclear whether she could avoid being forced into a coalition with her leftist rivals.

Television exit polls showed Merkel’s conservative bloc – the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) — on 42 to 42.5 percent, which if confirmed would be their strongest score since 1990.

Sep 19, 2013

Eurosceptics poised for German breakthrough, hurting Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – A new Eurosceptical party is on the brink of entering the German parliament for the first time, an opinion poll showed, casting doubt on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bid to maintain her center-right coalition and complicating her euro zone policy.

Merkel still looks set to secure a third term in Sunday’s general election. But the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has risen on a tide of public hostility to bailouts of indebted southern euro zone countries, could further fragment the lower house, forcing her into a right-left “grand coalition”.

Sep 17, 2013

After Angie, Uschi? – some Germans ponder life after Merkel

BERLIN, Sept 17 (Reuters) – It is heresy even to pose the
question to the chancellor’s supporters before Sunday’s general
election and, if she does win a third term, the answer will
remain evasive. But some Germans are asking anyway: who can
succeed Angela Merkel?

“Angela the Great”, as one magazine dubbed her, looks a near
certainty to be re-elected, the main doubt being whether her
centre-right coalition gets a new lease of life or she has to
govern with the centre-left. Both scenarios are fine with the
public, pollsters say, as long as “Angie” stays in charge.

Sep 12, 2013

Insight: The end of angst? Prosperous Germans in no mood for change

EICHSTAETT/BREMERHAVEN, Germany (Reuters) – The Altmuehl is Germany’s slowest-flowing river and Hans Bittl, who lives along its banks in Eichstaett, sees this as a metaphor for the low-key success of his Bavarian town.

“People in Eichstaett are very cautious and don’t go along with every new fashion or idea. They bide their time and see if it works,” says Bittl, chief clerk at the town hall.

Sep 12, 2013

The end of angst? Prosperous Germans in no mood for change

EICHSTAETT/BREMERHAVEN, Germany, Sept 12 (Reuters) – The
Altmuehl is Germany’s slowest-flowing river and Hans Bittl, who
lives along its banks in Eichstaett, sees this as a metaphor for
the low-key success of his Bavarian town.

“People in Eichstaett are very cautious and don’t go along
with every new fashion or idea. They bide their time and see if
it works,” says Bittl, chief clerk at the town hall.

Sep 5, 2013

German angst no longer higher behind the old Iron Curtain

BERLIN, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Germans living in the former
communist east are no longer more fearful for the future than
their compatriots, according to an annual survey out on Thursday
that showed no east-west gap in the “angst index” for the first
time in 21 years.

A nation of worriers, more than four in 10 Germans still
suffer high anxiety, but that has fallen from the peaks around
the al Qaeda attacks in the United States and Europe in the
2000s, the global financial crisis and the start of the euro
crisis.

Sep 4, 2013

German eurosceptics a new threat to Merkel as election looms

BERLIN (Reuters) – Support for a new anti-euro party has risen to a record high of 4 percent weeks before Germany holds an election, raising the possibility it could win seats in parliament and hurt Angela Merkel’s chances of forming another centre-right coalition.

A poll by Forsa for Stern magazine showed the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) within 1 point of the threshold needed to enter the Bundestag lower house.

Sep 3, 2013

‘Clever’ Merkel promises to shield Germany from rivals’ taxes

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel urged Germans on Tuesday to re-elect her “clever” government, saying it would shield their businesses and jobs from tax hikes by the center-left.

The chancellor, whose bid for a third term on September 22 is a close contest despite her popularity, said Peer Steinbrueck would ruin her progress on cutting unemployment and cementing economic recovery if his Social Democrats (SPD) came to power.

Sep 1, 2013

German candidates clash on euro and taxes in tight TV duel

BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel and her
Social Democrat challenger in this month’s German election
clashed over the euro, tax policy and U.S. spying in a
television debate on Sunday that produced no clear winner.

The only TV duel of the campaign, watched by an estimated 15
million viewers, was one of SPD candidate Peer Steinbrueck’s
last chances to change the momentum in a race in which he has
trailed the popular Merkel from the very start.

    • 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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