Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Feb 17, 2012

Possible candidates for German presidency

BERLIN, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Germany’s conservative
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she would consult the
centre-left opposition about a consensus candidate to replace
Christian Wulff, who quit over a series of allegations about
favours and his private finances.

Merkel hand-picked Wulff, a politician from her Christian
Democratic Union (CDU), for the largely ceremonial post of head
of state in 2010 after the former International Monetary Fund
head Horst Koehler resigned as German president.

Feb 13, 2012

Chafing at insults, Germany loses patience with Greece

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is running out of patience with throwing money into the “bottomless pit” of Greece’s debt crisis and any lingering sympathy in Berlin is being undermined by anti-German slogans on the lips of politicians and austerity protesters in Athens.

While officially hailing the Greek parliament’s approval of the savings package required for a new 130 billion-euro bailout,

Feb 8, 2012

Analysis: Germany in two minds over leadership role

MUNICH (Reuters) – For six decades, Germany heeded Nobel laureate Thomas Mann’s advice to seek “not a German Europe, but a European Germany.”

The euro zone crisis appears to have swept this post-war caution aside. Two years into the debt disaster, Germany looks increasingly confident in the role of economic superpower, pushing its model of fiscal discipline on the European Union.

Feb 5, 2012

Arabs, Turkey criticize veto of Syria resolution

MUNICH (Reuters) – Arab countries and Turkey joined the West on Sunday in criticizing the Russian-Chinese veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution against President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow and Beijing vetoed the resolution, which would have expressed the Security Council’s full support for an Arab League plan that would see Assad cede power to a deputy, withdraw troops from cities and make way for democracy.

Feb 4, 2012

U.S. urges Syria vote as Russia warns U.N. taking sides

MUNICH (Reuters) – Russia’s foreign minister demanded on Saturday that a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria be amended to avoid giving the impression that the world body was taking sides in a civil war, but Washington still held out for ‘yes’ vote from Moscow.

Sergei Lavrov warned of a “scandal” if the Security Council voted on the current version on Saturday as planned. He met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Munich for what one U.S. official called very “vigorous” talks on Syria.

Feb 4, 2012

More than 200 killed in Syria’s Homs before U.N. vote

BEIRUT/MUNICH (Reuters) – Syrian forces killed more than 200 people in an assault on the city of Homs, activists said, the worst day of violence in an 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, escalating the conflict on the eve of Saturday’s U.N. vote.

The Arab League, Europe and the United States are trying to persuade Assad’s veto-wielding ally Russia to let the Security Council pass a resolution backing an Arab call for Assad to relinquish power. Moscow said passing the resolution without amendments risked “taking sides in a civil war.”

Feb 4, 2012

Over 200 people killed in Syria’s Homs before U.N. vote

BEIRUT/MUNICH (Reuters) – Syrian forces killed more than 200 people in an assault on the city of Homs, activists said, the worst day of violence in an 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, escalating the conflict on the eve of Saturday’s U.N. vote.

The Arab League, Europe and the United States are trying to persuade Assad’s veto-wielding ally Russia to let the Security Council pass a resolution backing an Arab call for Assad to relinquish power. Moscow said passing the resolution without amendments risked “taking sides in a civil war”.

Feb 4, 2012

Russia: UN risk taking sides in Syrian civil war

MUNICH/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria was “not hopeless” but must be amended to avoid giving the impression that the world body was taking sides in a civil war.

He warned of a “scandal” if the Security Council voted on the current version at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday as scheduled. He met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference to discuss the changes Moscow wants.

Jan 31, 2012

Merkel election support for Sarkozy shows worries of both

PARIS/BERLIN, Jan 31 (Reuters) – By enlisting
Germany’s Angela Merkel to help his bid for reelection, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy has put Europe at the heart of his
campaign. Merkel’s decision to back him suggests nervousness on
her part about a change of leadership when the French-German
partnership is driving euro zone policy.

Both leaders have played down the move. But with Socialist
Francois Hollande leading polls, Merkel’s camp worries about
losing the momentum she has built with Sarkozy in tackling
Europe’s debt crisis and the prospect of France being run by a
man whose campaign one Merkel MP termed a “leftist anachronism”.

Jan 24, 2012

Merkel coalition deaf to pleas for bigger euro “firewall”

BERLIN, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s
conservative allies warned on Tuesday against committing
additional German funds to euro zone bailout schemes,
underscoring how difficult it would be for the chancellor to
meet international demands to boost the bloc’s defences.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and
Italian premier Mario Monti have both travelled to Berlin to
urge Merkel to increase the 500 billion-euro European Stability
Mechanism (ESM), which is due to become operational mid-year.

    • 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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