Chief Correspondent, Germany
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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.

Apr 30, 2013

Italy’s premier under pressure to win EU budget leeway

ROME/BERLIN (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.

Apr 26, 2013

Berlin confident top court will uphold euro rescue ruling

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s government expects the Constitutional Court to confirm an earlier ruling backing a euro zone rescue mechanism and EU officials said the European Central Bank’s plans to buy bonds of stricken states was outside its remit.

The Bundesbank, a stern opponent of ECB plans to purchase debt of struggling euro zone members, sent a 29-page report to the court in December, which was published in a German newspaper on Friday, outlining the dangers of the plan.

Apr 24, 2013

German SPD says EU can’t ditch austerity

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social Democrats (SPD) do not believe the time for debt and deficit reduction in Europe is over yet, but see a need to focus more on growth to combat unemployment in southern Europe, a top SPD politician told Reuters.

As Europe debates whether it can stand more of the austerity led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom the SPD aims to oust in an election in September, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he did not think the European Commission was ready to call the dogs off.

Apr 16, 2013

Qatar says aid for Syria rebels and Islamists won’t harm region

BERLIN, April 16 (Reuters) – Qatar on Tuesday rejected
criticism that it risked destabilising the Middle East by
supporting rebels in Syria or the Muslim Brotherhood and said it
was helping people but did not interfere in governments.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Arab states who
are arming and sheltering rebel fighters of actions that could
“create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond”,
with Saudi Arabia and Qatar clearly in mind.

Apr 14, 2013

Social Democrats aim to dispel party gloom as German election nears

AUGSBURG, Germany, April 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition
Social Democrats (SPD) opened their election campaign on Sunday
pledging victory in September despite polls that suggest their
best hope of regaining power will be in a “grand coalition”
under Angela Merkel.

Opinion polls have put Peer Steinbrueck’s centre-left SPD
well behind Merkel’s conservatives, and her personal popularity
has soared to more than 60 percent while fewer than a third of
Germans say they would prefer him as chancellor.

Apr 12, 2013

Merkel, Cameron to bring families together in castle outside Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host David Cameron and his wife and children at a castle outside Berlin at the weekend in a rare family get-together that she may hope will create the right mood to heal a growing rift between Britain and Europe.

Cameron, who warned this week that British support for the EU was “wafer thin”, will spend the weekend with Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer at Schloss Meseburg northwest of Berlin accompanied by his wife Samantha and their three children.

Apr 12, 2013

German poll sees SPD losing support on core campaign issues

BERLIN, April 12 (Reuters) – The German opposition Social
Democrats (SPD) are losing support in their bid to unseat
Chancellor Angela Merkel in September’s election and are no
longer trusted more than her conservatives on social issues,
according to a poll out on Friday.

The Politbarometer poll for public broadcaster ZDF will make
tough reading for candidate Peer Steinbrueck ahead of a congress
of his centre-left SPD in Bavaria on Sunday to present the
official platform for the federal election on Sept. 22.

Apr 11, 2013

Singh, Merkel say EU and India move closer to FTA

BERLIN (Reuters) – India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Germany’s Angela Merkel said on Thursday they had made progress on breaking an impasse in free trade talks between India and Europe that have stumbled on access to India’s car and insurance markets.

“The situation is that such a deal appears to be reachable,” Merkel told a news conference with Singh in Berlin after talks that included members of both of their cabinets.

    • 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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