Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Oct 14, 2013

Merkel and leftist rivals test ground for coalition

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) dug in their heels on Monday over the introduction of a minimum wage ahead of a second round of exploratory talks with Angela Merkel’s conservatives on forming a ‘grand coalition’ government.

The chancellor, who is seeking a partner for her third term after falling just short of a parliamentary majority in an election last month, is still trying to decide whether to enter full-blown negotiations with the SPD or the environmentalist Greens.

Oct 11, 2013

German Greens voice doubts after coalition talks with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens played down prospects of forming a government with Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a day after a first round of exploratory coalition talks highlighted policy differences between the parties on clean energy and industry.

Despite agreeing to meet again with her next week, Greens politicians made clear on Friday that they had found little common ground with Merkel, whose Christian Democrats (CDU) are also holding talks with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

Oct 8, 2013

Left-right coalition would put German radicals in limelight

BERLIN (Reuters) – They lost 1.4 million votes and ceded “safe” seats in their east German stronghold to Angela Merkel’s conservatives, but the radical Left are smiling about an election outcome that may finally upgrade them from pariahs to the political mainstream.

It helps having low expectations.

The heirs to East Germany’s communist regime have read their own political obituaries so often since scraping into the first post-unification parliament in 1990 that even a 3.3 percent drop in their share of the vote, to 8.6 percent, came as a relief.

Sep 25, 2013

Merkel allies talk tax rises in coalition overtures

BERLIN, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Conservative allies of Germany’s
Angela Merkel said on Wednesday they might agree to raise taxes
to help lure the defeated centre-left Social Democrats into a
grand coalition that would keep the chancellor in power.

Their overtures came in media interviews ahead of a meeting
of SPD leaders in Berlin on Friday, where the opposition will
try to chart its new course after losing a third parliamentary
election to Merkel and her Christian Democrats (CDU) on Sunday.

Sep 25, 2013

Merkel rivals signal tough bargaining on German coalition

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s center-left opponents took tough bargaining positions on Wednesday for the political poker game that follows her German election victory, with the Social Democrats and Greens feigning no interest in forming a coalition with her.

The conservative chancellor fell just short of an absolute majority on Sunday, meaning she has to form a government with one of three other parties who made it into parliament.

Sep 23, 2013

Triumphant Merkel starts tough task of seeking coalition

BERLIN, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel began
trying to persuade her centre-left rivals to keep her in power
on Monday after her conservatives notched up their best election
result in more than two decades but fell short of an absolute
majority.

Even the chancellor’s political foes acknowledged she was
the big winner of the first German vote since the euro crisis
began in 2010, which thrust the pastor’s daughter from East
Germany into the role of Europe’s dominant leader.

Sep 23, 2013

Merkel romps to victory but faces tough coalition choices

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in Germany’s general election on Sunday, but her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own and may have to convince leftist rivals to join a coalition government.

Partial results put support for Merkel’s conservative bloc on 42 percent, their strongest score since 1990, the year of German unification, and a ringing endorsement of her steady leadership during the euro zone crisis.

Sep 22, 2013

Merkel romps to victory in German election

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel was on track to win a third term as chancellor in a German election on Sunday after her conservatives scored their best result in decades, but it was unclear whether she could avoid being forced into a coalition with her leftist rivals.

Television exit polls showed Merkel’s conservative bloc – the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) — on 42 to 42.5 percent, which if confirmed would be their strongest score since 1990.

Sep 19, 2013

Eurosceptics poised for German breakthrough, hurting Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) – A new Eurosceptical party is on the brink of entering the German parliament for the first time, an opinion poll showed, casting doubt on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bid to maintain her center-right coalition and complicating her euro zone policy.

Merkel still looks set to secure a third term in Sunday’s general election. But the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has risen on a tide of public hostility to bailouts of indebted southern euro zone countries, could further fragment the lower house, forcing her into a right-left “grand coalition”.

Sep 17, 2013

After Angie, Uschi? – some Germans ponder life after Merkel

BERLIN, Sept 17 (Reuters) – It is heresy even to pose the
question to the chancellor’s supporters before Sunday’s general
election and, if she does win a third term, the answer will
remain evasive. But some Germans are asking anyway: who can
succeed Angela Merkel?

“Angela the Great”, as one magazine dubbed her, looks a near
certainty to be re-elected, the main doubt being whether her
centre-right coalition gets a new lease of life or she has to
govern with the centre-left. Both scenarios are fine with the
public, pollsters say, as long as “Angie” stays in charge.

    • 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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