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Apr 11, 2013

Singh, Merkel say EU and India move closer to free trade deal

BERLIN, April 11 (Reuters) – Indian 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.

Apr 10, 2013

Straight-talking Steinbrueck struggles to debunk Merkel “cult”

BERLIN (Reuters) – Coaxed into a tub of plastic bubbles with a 19-year-old drama student, the German center-left’s candidate for chancellor Peer Steinbrueck shows a sense of humor that his rival Angela Merkel would struggle to match.

But his performance taking questions from nine teenagers dressed in space suits at the Berlin campaign event also gave clues as to why the Social Democrat (SPD) is so far behind Merkel less than six months before parliamentary elections.

Apr 5, 2013

German minister says tax haven report will “increase pressure”

BERLIN, April 5 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble said on Friday he was glad the identities of thousands
of holders of bank accounts in tax havens had been leaked
because it would help do away with a business model that Cyprus
had shown was flawed.

“I’m glad about this report, which will increase the
pressure,” he said, referring to a report by the
Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative
Journalists (ICIJ) in cooperation with some international media.

Mar 12, 2013

Merkel urges family-friendly Germany, opposition cries foul

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel urged German employers to help get more women back to work after they become mothers in a country which needs to boost its workforce – unlike much of Europe, where mass unemployment is putting pressure on political leaders.

Germany’s center-left opposition called the conservative chancellor’s “family summit” on Tuesday blatant electioneering, saying she had woken up to the problems of women and families six months before an election when she will seek a third term.

Mar 1, 2013

Italian president rules out new vote as parties wrangle

ROME/BERLIN, March 1 (Reuters) – President Giorgio
Napolitano ruled out an early return to the polls on Friday as
Italy’s parties wrangled over how to form a government after
this week’s deadlocked election.

Speaking during a state visit to Berlin, Napolitano said
Italy needed a stable government and could not immediately hold
a new election.

Mar 1, 2013

Italy’s center-left leader rules out coalition with Berlusconi

ROME/BERLIN (Reuters) – President Giorgio Napolitano ruled out an early return to the polls on Friday as Italy’s parties wrangled over how to form a government after this week’s deadlocked election.

Speaking during a state visit to Berlin, Napolitano said Italy needed a stable government and could not immediately hold a new election.

Mar 1, 2013

Italian president says Germany must give EU recovery a boost

BERLIN (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano told Germany on Friday it should do more to help his country and other EU states recover from an economic turndown as he ended a visit marred by bilateral tensions.

While praising Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel for their leadership role in the euro zone debt crisis, the Italian head of state said members of the European Union needed to feel “that we are all in the same boat”.

Feb 27, 2013

Italy president snubs German candidate over clown gaffe

BERLIN (Reuters) – Italy’s president cancelled a dinner with the German opposition’s chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck in Berlin on Wednesday after he described the former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi and comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo as “clowns”.

Steinbrueck, a Social Democrat who will take on Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s next national election in September, has a reputation for gaffes and his remark created the first diplomatic incident of his accident-prone campaign.

Feb 27, 2013

Italian president snubs German candidate over “clown” comment

BERLIN (Reuters) – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano canceled a dinner with the German opposition’s chancellor candidate on Wednesday after he described Italian former premier Silvio Berlusconi and comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo as “clowns”.

Peer Steinbrueck, a Social Democrat who will take on Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s next national election in September, has a reputation for gaffes and his remark created the first diplomatic incident of his accident-prone campaign.

Feb 27, 2013

Germany relaxes immigration rules to attract skilled labour

BERLIN, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Germany sought on Wednesday to
make it easier for skilled workers from outside the European
Union to take a job in the country, trying to alleviate chronic
shortages in areas such as engineering, train driving and
plumbing.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet passed new immigration
rules which, pending approval by parliament’s upper house, aim
to cut red tape for people in target industries, allowing them
to get their qualifications recognised in Germany more easily.

    • 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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