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Nov 1, 2011

Chinese and Russian firms fare worst in bribery index

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’
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.

Nov 1, 2011

Germans warn of Greek euro exit after referendum gambit

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.

Oct 25, 2011

German EconMin sees coalition majority in EFSF vote

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.

Oct 25, 2011

German lawmakers win full say on EFSF

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.

Oct 24, 2011

German right see “battling” Merkel prevailing on euro

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s supporters hailed her success in getting France to drop demands to use the European Central Bank to leverage euro crisis funds this weekend, as she began work convincing Germany’s parliament to back her in Wednesday’s second summit.

“Merkel’s Battle for our Euro,” was Monday’s headline in the mass-circulation conservative paper Bild, praising her for teaching French President Nicolas Sarkozy “that the EFSF rescue fund cannot be used to print money” to resolve the debt crisis.

Oct 21, 2011

Merkel split summit for OK from powerful MPs

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s new legal requirement to consult parliament on changes to euro zone bailout funds and the lack of detailed proposals to show lawmakers was behind a decision to split a European crisis summit in two, an aide said on Friday.

Against a backdrop of reports that Germany and France are at loggerheads on how to deliver on their promise of a solution to the crisis by month-end, European leaders will meet on Sunday to discuss a Greek debt write-down and bank recapitalization.

Oct 10, 2011

Greece loan talks advance, EU delays summit

ATHENS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Greece said it concluded talks with international lenders over a vital aid payment on Monday after Germany and France gave investors hope by promising a plan to recapitalize Europe’s banks soon.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy gave no details of their proposals, to be delivered by the end of the month, but said they would also cover closer euro zone integration and steps to tackle Greece’s debt mountain and prevent financial market contagion.

Oct 7, 2011

Merkel insists EFSF must be last resort for banks

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Friday the euro zone rescue fund should only be used to prop up banks as a last resort, ahead of a weekend meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at which they are expected to thrash out how to strengthen the region’s banks.

The 440 billion euro European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) has been redesigned to help banks and buy up government bonds in an effort to beef up Europe’s crisis fighting response.

Sep 29, 2011

Europe again steps back from brink in debt crisis

BERLIN, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Following a now-familiar script,
Europe again averted disaster in its debt crisis when German
deputies rallied behind Chancellor Angela Merkel to approve a
stronger euro zone bailout fund on Thursday.

But bigger challenges lie ahead for the euro zone and
markets are already demanding more far-reaching measures to
prevent a crisis that began in Greece from spreading far beyond
Europe and its banks.

Sep 29, 2011

Merkel dodges bullet with euro vote victory

BERLIN, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel won her toughest
challenge yet as German chancellor by pushing through changes to
a rescue fund for the euro zone debt crisis on Thursday without
the humiliation of relying on opposition support.

Germany’s approval of the beefed-up bailout fund with much
stronger support than expected in the Bundestag (lower house of
parliament) provoked a sigh of relief in markets worried about
Berlin’s commitment to resolving the debt crisis.

    • 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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