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Jul 8, 2013

Germany defends ‘strictly legal’ cooperation with NSA

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s government said on Monday that its cooperation with American intelligence was fully regulated by strict legal guidelines after a magazine reported that the U.S. National Security Agency was in close cahoots with German spies.

Germany’s opposition, with an eye on September’s election, when the chancellor will seek a third term, demanded that her government explain how much it knew about U.S. surveillance tactics ahead of talks with Washington about the NSA.

Jul 7, 2013

America’s NSA ‘in bed with’ Germany and most others: Snowden

BERLIN (Reuters) – America’s National Security Agency works closely with Germany and other Western states on a ‘no questions asked’-basis, former NSA employee Edward Snowden said in comments that undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel’s indignant talk of “Cold War” tactics.

“They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states,” German magazine Der Spiegel quotes him as saying in an interview published on Sunday that was carried out before he fled to Hong Kong in May and divulged details of extensive secret U.S. surveillance.

Jul 4, 2013

German finmin says euro can resist political turmoil

BERLIN, July 4 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble dismissed fears that the euro zone crisis might be
starting up again amid political turmoil in Portugal and
pressure on Greece, saying on Thursday that the euro could
withstand such issues in individual states.

“I think the euro is seen as so stable by financial markets
that even political situations in individual countries, which
always occur in democracies, don’t mean a crisis for the euro,”
he said at a ceremony in Berlin marking a loan deal between the
German and Spanish development banks.

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.

    • 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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