Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Nov 14, 2011

Merkel’s call to arms on euro underwhelms party

LEIPZIG, Germany, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Delegates to a
congress of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) got
an orange at the door — her party’s campaign colour — but
security men inside confiscated them, saying they could be used
as projectiles against the chancellor.

There was no fruit-throwing at the meeting in Leipzig in the
former east Germany, but neither did the chancellor get the kind
of enthusiastic response she needs from her party to ensure
continued German commitment to tackling the euro zone debt
crisis.

Nov 14, 2011

Europe could be in worst hour since WW2: Merkel

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe could be living through its toughest hour since World War Two as new leaders in Italy and Greece rushed to form governments and limit the damage from the euro zone debt crisis.

A rally on financial markets sparked by the appointment of respected European technocrats in Rome and Athens soon stalled. Analysts warned that daunting obstacles could hinder decisive action needed to breathe new life into their ailing economies.

Nov 14, 2011

Europe’s toughest time since 2nd World War: Merkel

LEIPZIG, Germany (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.

Nov 14, 2011

Europe in toughest times since World War II – Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe must move step-by-step towards 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.

Nov 14, 2011

Merkel: Europe in toughest times since World War II

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.

Nov 10, 2011

If Germans are stubborn on euro, blame Weimar

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.

Nov 7, 2011

Germany rules out reserves or SDRs boosting bailouts

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.

Nov 7, 2011

Germany’s Greens: from unelectable to unavoidable

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
2013 elections.

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).

Nov 2, 2011

Germans urge Greece to avoid “no”-vote disaster

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.

Nov 2, 2011

India ‘most improved’ in bribery index, Russia fares worst

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.

    • 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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