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Nov 21, 2013

ECB’s Draghi: no news on negative deposit rate

BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has nothing new to say about instituting negative deposit rates, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, after a media report that the central bank was actively considering the move.

“Let me plead with you — don’t try to infer from what I say today anything on the possibility of negative rates on the deposit facility,” Draghi said in a speech at an event organized by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Nov 21, 2013

Merkel defends German surplus against international criticism

BERLIN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel on
Thursday defended Germany against international criticism that
it was not doing enough to reduce its high trade surpluses and
rejected the idea that it should deliberately weaken its
competitiveness.

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said it was “absurd” to suggest
German companies should reduce their quality or that wages in
the export sector should be higher to weaken their competitive
strengths.

Nov 17, 2013

Merkel and SPD coalition talks enter final make-or-break phase

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives and Germany’s Social Democrats have forged a political marriage before and know each other’s ways, but as a new “big day” approaches, they are having to work hard to convince skeptical party members and the business world that they should give it another go.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian allies were the clear winners in September’s election, taking 41.5 percent of the vote, but their former liberal partners in government lost all their seats, so the center-right still needs to form a coalition with the humiliated center-left.

Nov 17, 2013

German art hoarder denies paintings stolen, wants them back

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German recluse whose billion-dollar art hoard was seized by authorities has broken his silence to ask for the pictures back and to deny his father, an art dealer for Hitler, ever extorted any from Jewish owners.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, his first substantive comments since the mysterious trove was revealed two weeks ago, 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt recalled helping his father save some of the works from wartime Dresden and said the state had no right to impound treasures he called the love of his life.

Nov 15, 2013

Sense of dread as German SPD eyes new Merkel coalition

LEIPZIG, Germany, Nov 15 (Reuters) – If you want to know how
rank-and-file Social Democrats (SPD) regard the prospect of
another ‘grand coalition’ government under Chancellor Angela
Merkel, look for the red hedgehog.

Listening to speeches at a party congress in Leipzig from a
stand emblazoned with their cute logo, four members of the “Over
60s Working Club” from the northern town of Schortens summed up
grassroots sentiment in one word: scepticism.

Nov 14, 2013

Letta tells Germans that ‘lazy Italians’ cliche helps populists

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta warned on a visit to Germany on Thursday that stereotyping his compatriots as “lazy” or Germans as “selfish” would boost support for populists in next year’s European Parliament vote.

If the two countries are not careful, Letta told the party congress of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), “the campaign for the European election risks being full of reciprocal prejudices – the ‘selfish Germans’ against the ‘lazy, idle Italians’”.

Nov 14, 2013

German SPD courts Left to pressure Merkel in coalition talks

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have buried a taboo from the Cold War on working with the far left to show Chancellor Angela Merkel – and their own supporters – that the party will be no pushover in talks about forming a new coalition government.

The center-left SPD suffered its second-worst election defeat of the post-World War two era in September and is now negotiating its conditions for helping to form a government with the conservatives by Christmas.

Nov 1, 2013

Snowden writes to Germans to seek support in spy row

BERLIN (Reuters) – Fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has told Germany he is counting on international support to stop Washington’s ‘persecution’ of him for revealing the scale of its worldwide phone and Internet surveillance.

In an open letter to a country at the center of the row over U.S. spying on allies, Snowden said his revelations had helped to “address formerly concealed abuses of the public trust”.

Oct 31, 2013
via FaithWorld

Mystery of Gestapo chief’s fate is solved … and it shocks German Jews

Photo

(A Star of David is pictured on a fence at Grosse Hamburger Strasse Jewish cemetery in Berlin, October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch )

Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller, the most senior Nazi whose fate has until now remained unknown, died in Berlin in 1945 and, in a chilling twist for an organiser of the Holocaust, lies in a Jewish cemetery, a German historian says.

Oct 31, 2013

Mystery of Gestapo chief’s fate is ‘solved’, shocking German Jews

BERLIN (Reuters) – Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller, the most senior Nazi whose fate has until now remained unknown, died in Berlin in 1945 and, in a chilling twist for an organizer of the Holocaust, lies in a Jewish cemetery, a German historian says.

Mueller, who ran the Gestapo secret police before and during World War Two, was last spotted in Adolf Hitler’s bunker in Berlin the day after the Nazi leader committed suicide in 1945.

    • 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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