Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Jul 1, 2014

Boko Haram to hit Nigerian GDP again, investors resilient-minister

BERLIN, July 1 (Reuters) – Boko Haram’s insurgency will slow
Nigeria’s economy again this year, knocking half a percentage
point off growth like last year, the finance minister said on
Tuesday, adding that her 6.75 percent 2014 growth forecast took
this into account.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters that while the violence in
the northeast might put off some potential foreign investors,
those who were in Nigeria for the long term seemed to be holding
their nerve, as did portfolio investors in its government debt.

Jun 27, 2014

German lower house passes renewable energy law

BERLIN, June 27 (Reuters) – Germany’s Bundestag lower house
of parliament on Friday passed a law to reform the system of
renewable energy subsidies, clearing the first hurdle for a plan
that could still be stopped by the European Union following a
conflict over its legality.

The law – part of Germany’s efforts to wean itself off
nuclear power – still needs approval from the upper house and
the European Commission, which is concerned exemptions from a
surcharge on green power may infringe EU state aid laws.

Jun 25, 2014

Merkel signals leeway on EU budget rules, insists on Juncker

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel signaled her readiness on Wednesday to give EU states more flexibility within current budget rules to promote growth and job creation, but made clear she will push her choice of European Commission chief over British objections.

The chancellor appeared to come down clearly on the side of a more lenient interpretation of the European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact to help countries like Italy and France balance the push for reform with the need to reduce high unemployment.

Jun 24, 2014

Italy, Germany cloak budget differences in common language

ROME/BERLIN (Reuters) – Italy and Germany are using the same words ahead of this week’s European Union summit as debate heats up on whether economic policy should focus on budget austerity or stimulating growth, but they do not necessarily mean the same thing.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, buoyed by success in last month’s EU elections, has led calls for a new direction, saying battered southern economies can take no more of the medicine that has crushed growth and sent unemployment soaring.

Jun 16, 2014

Germany doesn’t want ECB reform to give Bundesbank permanent vote

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, June 16 (Reuters) – Germany sees no reason
to change the new voting system at the European Central Bank
that takes effect when Lithuania joins the euro next year,
despite a potential loss of influence for the Bundesbank, the
finance ministry said on Monday.

Once Lithuania becomes the 19th state to adopt the European
Union’s single currency next January, the national central bank
governors who sit on the ECB’s Governing Council will take turns
voting, to speed up decision-making

Jun 15, 2014

German eurosceptics go mainstream in threat to Merkel

BERLIN, June 15 (Reuters) – The Alternative for Germany
(AfD) failed to make as big a splash in European elections last
month as its eurosceptic counterparts in France and Britain. But
that may be about to change.

Less than a month after the vote, the party formed last year
by a group of renegade academics is on track to establish itself
as a permanent force in German politics and a long-term headache
for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats (CDU).

Jun 4, 2014

German prosecutor to probe U.S. spies for bugging Merkel’s phone

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s top public prosecutor has launched an investigation into the bugging of Angela Merkel’s mobile phone by U.S. intelligence in the light of revelations by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, authorities said on Wednesday.

The two countries have been at odds over the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying habits since Snowden’s revelations last year showed the United States had listened in on many of its allies, including Merkel, severely testing ties between Berlin and Washington.

Jun 4, 2014

German Eurosceptics gain support before EU alliance decision

BERLIN (Reuters) – Support for Germany’s Eurosceptical AfD party has hit a record high in a new poll released on Wednesday, when a European Union political bloc that includes Britain’s ruling Conservatives is due to decide whether to admit the German party as a member.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), formed just over a year ago amid German disenchantment with the euro, notched up its first election success on May 25 by taking seven seats in the European Parliament after winning 7 percent of German votes.

May 30, 2014

Merkel faces German backlash for ignoring voters on EU top job

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s lukewarm support for Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission has put the normally popular chancellor at the center of a furious debate in Germany, where she is accused of ignoring the will of EU voters.

With one journalist going as far as to call Merkel’s tactics “dumb” on national TV, she risks snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the European Parliament vote. She may also be in for a fight with her so-far compliant German coalition partners.

May 28, 2014

Better late than never, Germany joins new scramble for Africa

BERLIN, May 28 (Reuters) – German industry’s representative
in Angola, Ricardo Gerigk, has a tough job drumming up business
in Luanda, the costliest city in the world for expats, where
contracts tend to go to firms from China, Portugal and other
countries with a bigger presence.

Although Angola has dynamic growth and a wealth of resources
including oil, gas, rare earths and diamonds, only about 15
German companies have taken what Gerigk calls the “leap of
faith” to set up business there. “None of them have any
regrets,” he adds.

    • 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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