DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Voting began on Sunday in Germany’s most populous state where Angela Merkel’s conservatives face a defeat that could give the left momentum before next year’s federal election and fuel criticism of the chancellor’s European austerity drive.
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), an industrial state in western Germany with an economy and population roughly the size of the Netherlands, has a history of influencing national politics.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany told Greece on Friday that staying in the euro zone was its own choice and that it must not stray from austerity if it expects to get international cash.
It also laid out its support for a European ‘growth pact’ in an attempt to deflect criticism that its insistence on austerity has exacerbated Athens’ debt woes.
BERLIN (Reuters) – European Union paymaster Germany warned Greece on Thursday that European partners could only go on aiding debt-ridden Athens if it sticks to an international bailout program rejected by voters in a general election.
Financial markets, spooked by the risk of a disorderly Greek default spreading turmoil, steadied as Spain’s move to clean up its banks and the release of a key payment to Athens eased immediate concerns about the euro zone.
BERLIN, May 10 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected
calls from her centre-left opponents in Germany and Europe for
economic stimulus policies that rely on new debt, warning
parliament on Thursday that “growth on credit” would just tip
Europe deeper into crisis.
Since the election of Socialist Francois Hollande as French
president on Sunday, Merkel has come under pressure to relax the
austerity measures that, as leader of Europe’s biggest economy,
she has prescribed as the remedy for the euro zone debt crisis.
KREFELD, Germany (Reuters) – - Werner Schmidtke has a recurring nightmare: he is in a room full of boys strapped to metal beds, naked and blindfolded with wax plugs in their ears, being tortured by a man with an electric prod. Any boy who screams is plunged into a tub full of freezing water and given more electric shocks.
For Schmidtke, who is now 51, the scene is all too real. He was subjected to this treatment as a youngster in a building known as “Neukra” (short for “New Hospital” in German) in Colonia Dignidad, a secretive sect set up in central Chile in 1961 by Paul Schaefer, a German World War Two medic turned evangelical preacher.
BERLIN, May 7 (Reuters) – Germany is ruling out any
substantive shift in its approach to Europe’s debt crisis
despite a rising chorus of opposition to Berlin’s austerity
policies that reached a crescendo in Sunday’s elections in
Greece and France.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in Berlin on Monday,
rejected the notion that Europe was on the brink of a major
policy shift after Socialist Francois Hollande defeated her
fellow conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek voters punished
ruling parties who slashed spending to secure a foreign bailout.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s hard left could imitate the relative success of French radicals in the first round of the presidential vote there if it concentrates on attacking Chancellor Angela Merkel’s European austerity drive, a leading German leftist said on Tuesday.
Senior Left party parliamentarian Sahra Wagenknecht told Reuters her party had more to offer disenchanted voters than the upstart Pirates, who came from nowhere to become the third force in German politics in the latest opinion polls.
BERLIN, March 29 (Reuters) – Germany’s opposition Social
Democrats warned Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on
Thursday not to take their support for new euro zone
crisis-fighting measures for granted, saying more work was
needed to convince lawmakers.
Speaking in the Bundestag lower house of parliament at the
start of a debate on the bloc’s new budget discipline pact and
bailout facility, Social Democrat (SPD) parliamentary leader
Frank-Walter Steinmeier accused the government of misleading the
German people by reversing its position on the bloc’s firewall.
BERLIN, March 26 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
may have no option but to revive her old alliance with the
centre-left opposition after federal elections in 2013, as her
current Free Democrat coalition partners face likely further
humiliation in regional polls this year.
Merkel may even end up happier in a marriage of convenience
with the Social Democrats than in what once seemed to be a love
match with the centre-right FDP, who were already banished to
the electoral wilderness in the state of Saarland on Sunday.
BERLIN, March 25 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s Free Democrat
(FDP) coalition partners crashed out of the assembly in the
state of Saarland on Sunday with just 1.5 percent of the vote,
according to exit polls, continuing a dismal run which has
weakened Germany’s centre-right government.
The chancellor’s Christian Democrats (CDU) looked set to win
the state election and were likely to seek a coalition with the
second-placed Social Democrats (SPD), a trend which may be
repeated in national elections next year.