Chief Correspondent, Germany
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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.

Mar 13, 2014

Merkel warns Russia of “massive damage” if it persists

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel warned
Moscow on Thursday that it risked “massive” political and
economic damage if it refused to change course on Ukraine,
saying Western leaders were united in their readiness to impose
sanctions on Russia if necessary.

The chancellor, using her strongest language since the start
of the crisis and removing any suspicion that Germany might seek
to avoid a confrontation with President Vladimir Putin, said his
actions would lead to “catastrophe” for Ukraine and much more.

Mar 13, 2014

Book Talk: Small, smart moves the key to “50 Shades” of success

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) – What do the fall of the Berlin
Wall, 90 million copies of the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of
Grey” and the accidental success of the online photo-sharing
service Flickr have in common?

A new e-book argues that they managed to harness pent-up
energy, luck, creativity and other phenomena to get “outsized
results”, and that entrepreneurs or activists can emulate this
with a strategy called “Scaling” – the book’s title.

Feb 18, 2014

Merkel urges patience with Swiss after immigration vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday against rushing to retaliate against Switzerland for its vote to curb immigration, saying Europe’s own interests were best served by waiting to see how the Swiss implement the referendum result.

“It can’t be that because one side did something in one specific area that the other side says nothing works in other areas,” Merkel said after talks with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who is also the country’s foreign minister.

Feb 13, 2014

Chinese directors master Nordic noir, shoot-’em-up Western

BERLIN, Feb 13 (Reuters) – An overweight detective with a
drinking problem and a fresh divorce stumbles through the snow
to catch a killer armed with ice-skates, showing China has no
need to envy the Nordics when it comes to crime in a cold
climate.

A city lawyer rides through the desert on horseback with a
satellite navigator to rescue a girl from a deadly smuggler. Not
Arizona but China again, showing it may have something to teach
Quentin Tarantino when it comes to spaghetti Westerns.

Feb 11, 2014

Monster or god? Nick Cave explores rock performance in new film

BERLIN, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Australian singer-songwriter Nick
Cave – who has conjured up so much horror, lust and murder as
well as haunting love songs in three decades fronting “The Bad
Seeds” – worries that technology could destroy the mystique of
live rock performance.

The 56-year-old cult musician, scriptwriter and novelist,
presenting his latest cinema project – “20,000 Days on Earth” -
at the Berlin Film Festival, said in an interview on Tuesday
that live music should be a “transformative” experience.

Feb 5, 2014

Germany to abstain in EU vote on new GMO maize

HAMBURG/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany intends to abstain in a European Union vote on the cultivation of a new type of genetically modified maize, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Some German opposition politicians said an abstention could lead to the European Commission giving a green light for the maize to be farmed, but diplomats in Brussels said Germany’s move might not be enough to ensure EU approval.

Feb 4, 2014

Erdogan struggles with Merkel’s scepticism on Turkish EU bid

BERLIN, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan urged Angela Merkel to throw Germany’s full weight
behind his country’s bid to join the European Union but there
was no sign the chancellor had been swayed from her sceptical
stance on Turkish membership.

In a visit to Berlin overshadowed by EU concerns about his
crackdown on the judiciary and police whom he accuses of forming
part of a “parallel state”, Erdogan complained that German
support was “not currently adequate”.

Feb 2, 2014

Germany promises more engagement – but not on the battlefield

MUNICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Germany’s U.S. and European allies
welcome Berlin’s promise of a more robust foreign and security
policy, but with no appetite at home for troops to fight, it may
mean little more than extra logistical help and tougher
rhetoric.

At this year’s security conference in Munich, where 11 years
ago pacifist-turned-foreign minister Joschka Fischer told U.S.
defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld “excuse me, I am not
convinced” about the war in Iraq, Germany promised its knee-jerk
reaction would no longer be a ‘no’ to overseas missions.

    • 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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