Chief Correspondent, Germany
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May 24, 2012

Clegg says time to shift UK economy up a gear

BERLIN, May 24 (Reuters) – British Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg said on Thursday that data showing Britain’s economy
shrank more than expected in the first quarter underlined the
need to accelerate efforts to free up investment and credit.

Britain’s economy, in its second recession since the 2007-08
financial crisis, contracted by 0.3 percent between January and
March, Thursday’s data showed, following a slump in construction
output.

May 16, 2012

Merkel, Hollande promise joint growth strategy

BERLIN (Reuters) – New French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged differences on Tuesday over how to boost growth in recession-plagued Europe, but pledged to forge a joint approach in time for an EU summit next month.

The Socialist Hollande jetted to Berlin only hours after being sworn in to meet Merkel, a conservative, for the first time, arriving over an hour late after his plane was hit by lightning and he was forced to return briefly to Paris.

May 15, 2012

Hollande makes nervous debut in capital of austerity

BERLIN, May 15 (Reuters) – France’s new president, Francois
Hollande, looked understandably nervous on Tuesday at his first
meeting with Angela Merkel, as the world looked for signs that
Europe’s new power duo can overcome political differences to
resolve the euro crisis.

The German chancellor tactfully guided her guest through the
military honours in Berlin and whisked him off for talks that
had been ominously delayed when lightning struck his plane.

May 15, 2012

Merkel, Hollande pledge to work together to boost growth

BERLIN (Reuters) – New French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged differences on Tuesday over how to boost growth in recession-plagued Europe, but pledged to work together on a joint approach in time for a summit next month.

Hollande jetted to Berlin hours after his inauguration to meet Merkel for the first time, but arrived over an hour late after his plane was hit by lightning and he was forced to return briefly to Paris.

May 15, 2012

Greece to hold new election, jolts euro markets

ATHENS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Attempts to form a government in Greece collapsed on Tuesday, jolting financial markets at the prospect that leftists opposed to the terms of an EU bailout could sweep to victory in a June election and tip the euro zone deeper into crisis.

The turmoil in Athens sent shock waves around other troubled members of the 17-nation European single currency area. The euro slipped below $1.28, world stocks slid and Spanish and Italian bond yields rose above the danger level of 6 percent as investors scurried for shelter in safe haven German Bunds.

May 15, 2012

Merkel critics urge growth before talks with Hollande

BERLIN, May 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s centre-left opposition
told Angela Merkel it would only support her fiscal pact if it
was accompanied by measures to boost growth and jobs, siding
with France’s new Socialist President Francois Hollande hours
ahead of his visit to Berlin.

Markets and policymakers are watching the dialogue between
Germany’s conservative chancellor and the new French leader for
signs that they can overcome their differences on Merkel’s drive
for austerity.

May 14, 2012

Could heartland victory help Kraft to Berlin?

BERLIN, May 14 (Reuters) – Her rivals call her Germany’s
“debt queen”, but Hannelore Kraft’s victory in a state election
at the weekend has driven speculation she could challenge
Chancellor Angela Merkel as the mother of a nation famed for its
frugality.

Kraft’s ready smile and common touch helped her turn around
the fortunes of her Social Democrats (SPD) in the May 13 vote in
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and she was re-elected premier of
Germany’s most populous state.

May 14, 2012

Isolated Merkel sticks by austerity after vote setback

BERLIN, May 14 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel is looking
increasingly isolated at home and in Europe after what she
called a “bitter, painful defeat” for her party in a weekend
election in Germany’s most populous state.

The German chancellor said the vote did not change her view
that fiscal rigour was the best path for Europe, although it
highlighted resistance among Germans to enduring the kind of
austerity she has forced on debt-laden southern nations.

May 13, 2012

Austerity blow for Merkel in German state election

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany’s most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up attacks on her European austerity policies.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national vote in which Merkel will be fighting for a third term.

May 13, 2012

Merkel’s party routed in big German state

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany’s most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.

    • 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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