FREITAL, Germany, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The Alternative for
Germany (AfD) looks set to win its first seats in a German state
parliament as it evolves from a single-issue eurosceptic party
into a law-and-order movement that could chip away at Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s conservative hegemony.
Three eastern regions, still struggling to catch up with the
richer west nearly 25 years after unification, hold elections in
the coming weeks – Saxony on Aug. 31, Thuringia and Brandenburg
on Sept. 14. The AfD has a chance of winning seats in all three.
BERLIN/ANKARA (Reuters) – The German government faced an angry reaction from Turkey and accusations of hypocrisy from its own opposition on Monday after media reports that its intelligence agency spied on its NATO ally.
The reports also said the agency had listened to the phone calls of two U.S. secretaries of state – the kind of activity for which Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized Washington.
KIEV/BERLIN (Reuters) – Ukraine accused pro-Russian rebels on Monday of hitting a refugee convoy of buses with rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk, killing people trapped in the burning vehicles, but the separatists denied responsibility.
Government forces kept up pressure on the separatists in fighting overnight into Monday, blockading or recapturing rebel-held positions after international talks failed to reach agreement on a ceasefire.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel challenged Moscow’s attempt to pin the downing of a Malaysian airliner on Ukraine, pointing to Russia as a source of separatists’ weapons.
But she said it was too soon to talk about retaliatory measures.
The chancellor said there was evidence that the Malaysian Airlines (MASM.KL: Quote, Profile, Research) Boeing 777, which crashed into a field in Ukraine killing all 298 people on board, had been shot down.
BERLIN, July 18 (Reuters) – Moscow must take responsibility
for advancing a peace process in Ukraine, where a truce is
needed to allow an investigation into the crash of an airliner
close to the Russian border, German Chancellor Angela Merkel
said on Friday.
For the West, there was no alternative to seeking dialogue
with Putin over Ukraine, Merkel told a news conference in
Berlin, adding that it was too soon to make any decisions about
imposing tougher sanctions against Russia.
BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of the European Parliament rowed back on Wednesday after saying the EU legislature might reject Britain’s nominee for the European Commission, Jonathan Hill, for “radically anti-European” views.
Martin Schulz told a news conference he had been answering a hypothetical question from a German radio interviewer who said that Hill, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s nominee for the EU executive, was an extreme Eurosceptic.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of the European Parliament said on Wednesday that the “radically anti-European” views of Jonathan Hill, British premier David Cameron’s nominee for the European Commission, might prevent him getting onto the EU’s executive body.
“I cannot imagine Hill, whose views – in as far as he’s got any – are radically anti-European, getting a majority in the European Parliament,” said the legislative body’s president, Martin Schulz, a Social Democrat from Germany.
BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government wants a quick and clear explanation from Washington for U.S. intelligence’s apparent contact with a German man arrested last week on suspicion of being a double agent, the Interior Minister said in a newspaper interview.
“I expect everyone to cooperate promptly to clear up these allegations – with quick and clear comments from the United States as well,” Thomas de Maiziere told Bild newspaper, according to excerpts of its Monday edition.
BERLIN, July 6 (Reuters) – A German intelligence chief
warned, as Chancellor Angela Merkel embarks on her latest visit
to China, that some firms in Europe’s biggest economy face a
growing threat from industrial espionage by Chinese government
agencies with huge resources.
“Many German Mittelstand companies are easy prey,”
Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the BfV domestic intelligence
agency, told a Sunday newspaper, referring to the small and
medium-sized family firms that are the backbone of the economy.
BERLIN/KIEV (Reuters) – The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine agreed in Berlin on Wednesday to hold three-way talks involving pro-Moscow rebels by Saturday to pave the way for a new ceasefire, despite continued fighting that Kiev says has now killed 200 of its troops.
“It is a clear commitment to a multilateral ceasefire,” said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier after talks with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, Ukraine’s Pavlo Klimkin and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Russia and Ukraine continued to blame each other for the violence that marred the 10-day ceasefire, which Kiev declared over on Monday before resuming its military offensive against separatists in the east, many of whom had ignored the truce.