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Oct 5, 2012

Merkel’s challenger rebuffs criticism of high earnings

BERLIN (Reuters) – The center-left challenger to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s elections, former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck, on Friday fended off criticism of his lucrative earnings from speeches, books and company boards.

The nomination of the 65-year-old Social Democrat (SPD) has prompted a slew of criticism of his high earnings outside the Bundestag (lower house) from Merkel’s center-right coalition but also from the SPD’s left wing and from anti-graft campaigners.

Sep 28, 2012

Steinbrueck to challenge Merkel in 2013

BERLIN (Reuters) – Peer Steinbrueck, an abrasive former finance minister, will lead the German Social Democrats’ challenge to unseat chancellor Angela Merkel in a parliamentary election a year from now.

Announcing their “chancellor candidate” some months earlier than expected, the centre-left opposition took Germany by surprise on Friday; Steinbrueck, a combative veteran from the right of the SPD, marked out a campaign theme of tougher rules for banks and a goal of coalition government with the Greens.

Sep 28, 2012

Former finance minister Steinbrueck to challenge Merkel: paper

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) will nominate former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck as their candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s national election, Bild newspaper reported on Friday.

Bild, citing sources in the center-left SPD, said party chairman Sigmar Gabriel – who was also seen as a potential candidate – would make the announcement on Monday. The paper said on its website that former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the third contender, had pulled out of the contest.

Sep 28, 2012

Former finmin Steinbrueck to challenge Merkel – paper

BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Germany’s main opposition Social
Democrats (SPD) will nominate former finance minister Peer
Steinbrueck as their candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela
Merkel in next year’s national election, Bild newspaper reported
on Friday.

Bild, citing sources in the centre-left SPD, said party
chairman Sigmar Gabriel – who was also seen as a potential
candidate – would make the announcement on Monday. The paper
said on its website that former foreign minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier, the third contender, had pulled out of the contest.

Sep 17, 2012

Merkel urges go-slow approach to EU bank supervision

BERLIN, Sept 17 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
warned on Monday against rushing to create a new pan-European
bank supervisor under the roof of the ECB, saying it was more
important to put a credible watchdog in place than to meet
Europe’s self-imposed January deadline.

Speaking at her traditional summer news conference in
Berlin, delayed this year to allow the Constitutional Court to
rule first on Europe’s new rescue fund, Merkel also voiced
support for European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s
decision to buy the bonds of stricken euro states.

Sep 12, 2012

German court seen okaying EU bailout fund, strings attached

BERLIN/KARLSRUHE (Reuters) – Germany’s Constitutional Court is expected to give its approval on Wednesday to the euro zone’s new bailout fund while insisting on guarantees to safeguard German parliamentary sovereignty and limit Berlin’s financial exposure.

Chancellor Angela Merkel remained tactfully quiet as the court kept policymakers and markets on tenterhooks for months, delaying the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and fiscal compact to check that they comply with German democratic rules.

Sep 11, 2012

German top court rejects delay to euro ruling

BERLIN, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s Constitutional Court
will go ahead with a long-awaited ruling on Wednesday on the
legality of the euro zone’s new permanent bailout fund and
budget rules, despite a last-minute legal challenge by a member
of parliament.

On Tuesday, the court rejected an attempt to further delay a
ruling on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and fiscal
compact, which had previously been pushed back by months while
the judges reviewed whether the German parliament is permitted
under the constitution to ratify the treaties.

Sep 7, 2012

German media, lawmakers decry ECB ‘blank cheque’

BERLIN, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Germany’s conservative press
accused the European Central Bank on Friday of writing a “blank
cheque” to indebted euro zone states by agreeing to buy their
bonds, and some pro-government lawmakers threatened legal action
to stop the purchases.

ECB President Mario Draghi unveiled plans on Thursday for
potentially unlimited purchases of bonds of up to three years
maturity of countries that request a European bailout and fulfil
strict policy conditions. The German central bank chief was the
sole dissenting voice in the decision.

Jul 24, 2012

Risk, history shape German view on Europe referendum

BERLIN, July 24 (Reuters) – “Do you, German men and women,
endorse this policy of your Reich government, and are you ready
to express, of your own free will, that you will solemnly commit
yourself to it?”

An undercurrent of menace in the wording of the Nazis’ 1933
referendum to leave the League of Nations – ratified by 95
percent of voters – and the abuse of plebiscites in the Weimar
Republic explain a lingering unease in Germany about national
referendums.

Jul 16, 2012

Court delay, Spanish doubts hinder Merkel euro response

BERLIN, July 16 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel appears
to be reaching the limits of German patience on the euro zone
crisis, with the Constitutional Court and members of her own
coalition seeking deeper scrutiny of whether emergency measures
comply fully with national law.

The Constitutional Court said on Monday it would keep Europe
waiting for nearly two more months before announcing on Sept. 12
whether Germany can legally ratify Europe’s permanent bailout
scheme and the fiscal pact for budget discipline.

    • 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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