Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Jun 4, 2014

German prosecutor to probe U.S. spies for bugging Merkel’s phone

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s top public prosecutor has launched an investigation into the bugging of Angela Merkel’s mobile phone by U.S. intelligence in the light of revelations by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, authorities said on Wednesday.

The two countries have been at odds over the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying habits since Snowden’s revelations last year showed the United States had listened in on many of its allies, including Merkel, severely testing ties between Berlin and Washington.

Jun 4, 2014

German Eurosceptics gain support before EU alliance decision

BERLIN (Reuters) – Support for Germany’s Eurosceptical AfD party has hit a record high in a new poll released on Wednesday, when a European Union political bloc that includes Britain’s ruling Conservatives is due to decide whether to admit the German party as a member.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), formed just over a year ago amid German disenchantment with the euro, notched up its first election success on May 25 by taking seven seats in the European Parliament after winning 7 percent of German votes.

May 30, 2014

Merkel faces German backlash for ignoring voters on EU top job

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s lukewarm support for Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission has put the normally popular chancellor at the center of a furious debate in Germany, where she is accused of ignoring the will of EU voters.

With one journalist going as far as to call Merkel’s tactics “dumb” on national TV, she risks snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the European Parliament vote. She may also be in for a fight with her so-far compliant German coalition partners.

May 28, 2014

Better late than never, Germany joins new scramble for Africa

BERLIN, May 28 (Reuters) – German industry’s representative
in Angola, Ricardo Gerigk, has a tough job drumming up business
in Luanda, the costliest city in the world for expats, where
contracts tend to go to firms from China, Portugal and other
countries with a bigger presence.

Although Angola has dynamic growth and a wealth of resources
including oil, gas, rare earths and diamonds, only about 15
German companies have taken what Gerigk calls the “leap of
faith” to set up business there. “None of them have any
regrets,” he adds.

May 15, 2014

Berlin exhibition tells story of Bowie’s “Heroes” years

BERLIN, May 15 (Reuters) – David Bowie’s intensely
productive Berlin period – when he made the iconic albums
“Heroes” and “Low”, launched Iggy Pop’s solo career and kicked a
drug habit – is the theme of a new show adapted from last year’s
sold-out exhibition in London.

Arriving in 1976 from Los Angeles, exhausted from his antics
as “Ziggy Stardust” and other stage personae, he shed the
glam-rock outfits and big hair for a more anonymous life
documented at Berlin’s Martin Gropius Bau, an extended version
of the show that broke box-office records at the Victoria &
Albert Museum.

Apr 10, 2014

Russia may change budget rules to cope with Crimea: deputy PM

BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia may change its budget rules to reflect the addition of Crimea and its population of about 2 million people, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was quoted as saying on Thursday during a visit to Berlin.

He told a German newspaper that Crimea – the Ukrainian Black Sea territory annexed by Moscow last month – needed investment in infrastructure that could not be covered by existing funds.

Mar 28, 2014

China takes no sides on Ukraine crisis, Xi tells Europe

BERLIN (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping said on Friday China would not take sides with the West or Russia over Ukraine, disappointing any hopes Beijing might add its weight to international pressure on Moscow for annexing Crimea.

“China does not have any private interests in the Ukraine question,” Xi told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “All parties involved should work for a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

Mar 26, 2014

Germany tackles benefit abuse as migration soars from eastern EU

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany expects the number of Romanians and Bulgarians moving to the country to double this year, now that they are free to work anywhere in the European Union, and will defend its welfare system from potential abuse, the government said on Wednesday.

Economic growth and low unemployment in Germany are luring EU citizens taking advantage of free labor movement in the bloc, and industry is short of workers. But EU expansion to the east has fuelled fears of an influx of people fleeing poverty.

Mar 24, 2014

German panel proposes tighter controls on EU migrant benefit abuse

BERLIN, March 24 (Reuters) – A government panel has
recommended that Germany screen job-seekers from other European
Union states for “welfare tourists” and people not qualified for
employment and then expel benefit fraudsters and block their
return for a fixed period.

Economic growth and low unemployment make Germany a magnet
for EU citizens taking advantage of free movement in the bloc,
and industry is short of workers. But there are also fears of an
influx of Romanians and Bulgarians fleeing poverty since these
countries gained full access to the EU jobs market this year.

Mar 13, 2014

Russia holds war games near Ukraine; Merkel warns of catastrophe

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, showing no sign of backing down in its plans to annex its neighbor’s Crimea region despite a stronger than expected drive for sanctions from the EU and United States.

In an unusually robust and emotionally worded speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of “catastrophe” unless Russia changes course.

    • 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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