Chief Correspondent, Germany
Stephen's Feed
Jan 19, 2012

Robust German economy won’t mean largesse or diktat

BERLIN (Reuters) – While much of Europe suffers debt downgrades and job losses, Germany can boast of cheap borrowing, near record employment and a AAA credit rating that may even prove impervious to a mild recession.

But it has reason to avoid overt displays of enjoying others’ misfortune – Schadenfreude, as Germans would call it.

Jan 18, 2012

Analysis: Robust German economy won’t mean largesse or diktat

BERLIN (Reuters) – While much of Europe suffers debt downgrades and job losses, Germany can boast of cheap borrowing, near record employment and a AAA credit rating that may even prove impervious to a mild recession.

But it has reason to avoid overt displays of enjoying others’ misfortune – Schadenfreude, as Germans would call it.

Jan 13, 2012

Merkel broadens diplomatic drive for EU March summit

BERLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela
Merkel will gather the leaders of Austria, Sweden and Portugal
next Thursday in a bid to broaden consultations on key European
Union issues after criticism about Germany and France making
too many big decisions themselves.

With Italy now being consulted closely by Berlin and Paris
since Silvio Berlusconi’s departure, and Franco-German proposals
for a fiscal pact and transaction tax needing broader backing,
she plans a series of cosy chats with small groups of leaders.

Jan 11, 2012

Monti says markets must recognize Italian reforms

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Italy’s new government on Wednesday for the speed with which it has launched reforms, prompting Prime Minister Mario Monti to say it was important for markets also to recognize Italian economic policy progress soon.

Merkel said at a joint news conference with Monti in Berlin that his technocrat government had been quick to launch urgent budgetary measures and now structural reforms aimed at making the Italian economy more competitive in order to boost growth.

Jan 9, 2012

Merkel, Sarkozy press for quick Greek solution

BERLIN, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Germany and France warned
Greece on Monday it will get no more bailout funds until it
agrees with creditor banks on a bond swap and pressed for an
early deal to avert a potential default in the euro zone’s most
debt-stricken nation.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy, the
euro zone’s two leading powers, insisted after talks in Berlin
that private sector bondholders must share in reducing Greece’s
debt burden, along with new European and IMF lending.

Jan 9, 2012

Merkel tells Greece to hasten debt deal

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Greece on Monday it would not be possible to give further aid without rapid progress on its second rescue package, including a voluntary write-down on Greek debt held by private creditors.

“We must see progress on the voluntary restructuring of Greek debt,” Merkel told a joint news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin.

Dec 17, 2011

Comprehensive euro zone deal “beyond reach” – Fitch

ROME/BERLIN (Reuters) – The credit rating agency Fitch said on Friday it thought a comprehensive solution to the euro zone’s debt crisis was beyond reach, putting six euro zone economies including Italy on watch for potential near-term downgrades.

It reaffirmed France’s top-notch triple-A rating but even here said the outlook was now negative, meaning it could be downgraded within two years.

Dec 16, 2011

Fitch: comprehensive euro zone deal “beyond reach”

ROME/BERLIN, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The credit rating
agency Fitch said on Friday it thought a comprehensive solution
to the euro zone’s debt crisis was beyond reach, putting six
euro zone economies including Italy on watch for potential
near-term downgrades.

It reaffirmed France’s top-notch triple-A rating but even
here said the outlook was now negative, meaning it could be
downgraded within two years.

Dec 16, 2011

Italy PM warns policymakers against dividing Europe

ROME/BERLIN, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Italy’s prime minister
urged European policymakers on Friday to beware of dividing the
continent with their efforts to fight its debt crisis, warning
against a “short-term hunger for rigour” in some countries, in a
swipe at Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gained some respite from
domestic pressure for a tougher line in the euro zone crisis
when Eurosceptics hostile to more bailouts lost a referendum in
her junior coalition partner, the Free Democrats, aimed at
blocking a permanent rescue fund.

Dec 16, 2011

German FDP eurosceptics lose party vote on euro

BERLIN, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Eurosceptics in Germany’s
Free Democrats (FDP) lost an internal party vote on a permanent
euro zone bailout scheme, the leader of the ruling coalition
party said on Friday, removing a threat to Chancellor Angela
Merkel’s leadership and European policy.

“The FDP remains clearly focused on a pro-European stance,”
party leader Philipp Roesler said, adding that a failure to meet
the quorum of a third of party members made the referendum
questioning the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) invalid.

    • 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."
    • Contact Stephen

    • Follow Stephen