Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Jun 29, 2012

German MPs to pass crisis tools but concessions grate

BERLIN, June 29 (Reuters) – Germany’s parliament will
finally approve a permanent euro zone bailout scheme and new
budget rules on Friday drawn up by Angela Merkel, but legal
hurdles remain and her overnight concessions to euro zone
partners Italy and Spain may make them harder to overcome.

A deal with the opposition should give the chancellor,
hurrying back from a tense European Union summit, the required
two-thirds majority in the Bundestag (lower house) and Bundesrat
(upper house) votes beginning at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT).

Jun 29, 2012

German MPs to pass crisis tools but hurdles remain

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s parliament will finally approve on Friday the euro zone’s permanent bailout mechanism and new European budget rules drawn up by Chancellor Angela Merkel, but ratification of these tools for combating the debt crisis still faces legal hurdles.

Merkel will hurry back from a tense European Union summit for voting in the Bundestag (lower house) and Bundesrat (upper house) beginning at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT). A deal with the opposition will ensure she gets the two-thirds majority needed.

Jun 27, 2012

Merkel stands firm on euro bonds before EU summit

BERLIN, June 27 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel
accused other European leaders on Wednesday of wanting to put
the cart before the horse by pressing for common bond issuance
to fight the euro zone crisis before agreeing to tough new
budget controls.

Speaking in the Bundestag lower house of parliament before a
summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, Merkel did leave the
door open for the first time to using proceeds from a proposed
financial transactions tax (FTT) to boost growth and
competitiveness in struggling euro countries.

Jun 26, 2012

Venezuelan tribe angry at “sacred” stone in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – Wolfgang von Schwarzenfeld’s sculptures in a Berlin park were meant to promote world peace, but the 79-year-old German now finds himself at war with a Venezuelan tribe which accuses him of stealing a sacred pink stone known to them as “Grandmother”.

The Venezuelan government is championing the Pemon Indians of the “Gran Sabana” region by demanding the return of the polished stone from Berlin’s Tiergarten park – putting the German government in something of a dilemma.

Jun 19, 2012

Court complaint won’t stop Germany ratifying ESM

BERLIN/KARLSRUHE (Reuters) – Germany’s top court said on Tuesday Angela Merkel’s government did not adequately consult parliament on setting up the euro zone’s permanent bailout scheme, though the ruling is not expected to delay its ratification by Germany.

A government source, a legal expert and a member of Merkel’s conservatives in the Bundestag (lower house) said Germany was still on track to vote on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the “fiscal pact” for budget discipline in Europe by the end of the month.

Jun 18, 2012

Germany to cut Greece slack after vote backs bailout

BERLIN, June 18 (Reuters) – Germany may cut Greece some
slack after its voters backed a pro-bailout party in weekend
elections, with officials saying Athens might get more time to
meet its savings goals, though longer-term economic reforms were
still set in stone.

German officials, seeing the conservative New Democracy’s
win as a vote to keep Greece in the euro zone and respect the
terms of the European Union and International Monetary Fund
bailout, struck a conspicuously softer line.

Jun 18, 2012

Relieved Europe hints at more time for Greece

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Euro zone paymaster Germany, relieved at a narrow election victory for Greece’s pro-bailout parties, signaled on Monday it may be willing to grant Athens more time to meet its fiscal targets to avert a catastrophic euro exit.

But financial markets’ relief that the 17-nation European currency area had avoided plunging deeper into crisis was mitigated by concern about unresolved problems in Greece, the lack of a comprehensive plan for the euro zone as a whole and weakness in the world economy.

Jun 15, 2012

Eurosceptics bid for national stage in Germany

BERLIN, June 15 (Reuters) – Konrad Adenauer must be turning
in his grave.

The founder of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU)
did not live to see the ultimate expression of his vision of
European unity – the single currency – come into being.

Nor did postwar West Germany’s first chancellor live to see
his own grandson abandon the party to join a small but growing
band of German Eurosceptics.

Jun 11, 2012

Merkel faces tough sell at home over Spanish aid

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s government was forced to defend an EU rescue for Spain’s indebted banks on Monday, with many Germans convinced their generosity is being abused and skeptics warning that promising aid without tough conditions sets a risky precedent.

Aides to the German chancellor justified the huge bailout on the grounds that the Spanish economy was not in such dire shape that it required the kind of terms imposed on Greece, and the aid would not be paid directly to Spanish banks but to the government.

Jun 7, 2012

Merkel, Cameron spar on UK party’s exit from bloc

BERLIN, June 7 (Reuters) – Two starkly differing views on
pan-Europeanism were on display on Thursday as Germany’s
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s Prime Minister David
Cameron sparred over his party’s exit from a centre-right bloc
in the European parliament.

The Tories’ exit from the European People’s Party (EPP) in
2009 after Cameron became party leader remains a sore point
between London and Berlin, who otherwise share plenty of common
ground on issues like the need for fiscal discipline in Europe,
despite Britain not being a member of the euro zone.

    • 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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