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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.

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.

    • 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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