BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe must move step-by-step toward political union, calling the euro zone debt crisis the continent’s “toughest hour since World War Two”.
In a one-hour address to thousands of delegates from her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel offered no new ideas for resolving the crisis that has forced bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and has stirred worries about the survival of the 17-state currency zone.
BERLIN, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Anyone old enough to
remember the Weimar Republic would only have been a child when
hyperinflation wiped away savings in 1921-24, but the calamity
is so ingrained in Germany’s collective memory that it still
shapes its thinking on the euro.
Foreign leaders urging Germany to relax its resistance to
the European Central Bank becoming a “lender of last resort” and
printing money to solve the sovereign debt crisis can save their
breath: Germany won’t budge.
BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled
out using gold and currency reserves or IMF special drawing
rights to boost the euro zone bailout fund for fear of violating
the independence of Germany’s central bank, which opposes such
use of reserves.
German sources said these proposals caused tension between
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and German Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble on the one hand, and the European Central
Bank on the other, during last week’s G20 summit in Cannes.
BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The Greens have grown out of their
woolly jumpers and sandals and turned enough fellow Germans on
to environmentalism to make the party — already the world’s
most successful green movement — the possible kingmakers in the
Founded three decades ago by rebels from the 1968 student
movement, ‘ban-the-bomb’ peaceniks, ecologists and feminists,
the Greens got their first taste of power from 1998 to 2005
under Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats (SPD).
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s finance minister and other senior officials urged Greece on Wednesday to stick to the aid plan agreed with the euro zone and IMF and to avoid the dangerous instability posed by the prospect of a referendum on the latest bailout deal.
“It would be helpful if clarity is achieved as soon as possible on which path Greece wants to take,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Chinese and Russian firms are the most likely to pay bribes while operating abroad, and the most corrupt sectors are public works contracts and construction, according to Transparency International’s latest “Bribe Payers’ index”.
China and Russia rank bottom, in 27th and 28th place respectively, in the 2011 index released on Wednesday, while the Dutch, Swiss, Belgians, Germans and Japanese get the top scores. Britain and the United States rank eighth and ninth.
BERLIN, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Chinese and Russian firms are the
most likely to pay bribes while operating abroad, and the most
corrupt sectors are public works contracts and construction,
according to Transparency International’s latest “Bribe Payers’
China and Russia rank bottom, in 27th and 28th place
respectively, in the 2011 index released on Wednesday, while the
Dutch, Swiss, Belgians, Germans and Japanese get the top scores.
Britain and the United States rank eighth and ninth.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germans expressed fury and frustration on Tuesday at the Greek prime minister’s shock decision to call a referendum on a new financial rescue package, political leaders saying it could plunge Greece into bankruptcy and force it out of the euro zone.
George Papandreou stunned his own people and his European colleagues with the announcement on Monday evening, only days after European leaders had agreed the outlines of a second bailout for Athens at marathon summit talks in Brussels.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said he was confident Germany’s centre-right coalition would pass proposals on how to leverage the euro zone rescue fund with its own parliamentary majority, in a Bundestag vote on Wednesday.
Roesler also said in an interview with Reuters that excluding member states who bust euro zone budget rules was not currently under consideration and the goal was to keep all euro zone members within the single currency bloc.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German lawmakers flexed their muscles to secure a full parliamentary vote Wednesday on euro zone crisis measures negotiated by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her euro zone peers, a move senior politicians said would give Merkel a stronger mandate.
The new vote comes just one month after Germany’s Bundestag (lower of house of parliament) approved greater powers for the euro zone rescue fund, and should pass without problems, but it risks delaying Europe’s response to the debt crisis at a crucial juncture.