Chief Correspondent, Germany
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Sep 12, 2013

The end of angst? Prosperous Germans in no mood for change

EICHSTAETT/BREMERHAVEN, Germany, Sept 12 (Reuters) – The
Altmuehl is Germany’s slowest-flowing river and Hans Bittl, who
lives along its banks in Eichstaett, sees this as a metaphor for
the low-key success of his Bavarian town.

“People in Eichstaett are very cautious and don’t go along
with every new fashion or idea. They bide their time and see if
it works,” says Bittl, chief clerk at the town hall.

Sep 5, 2013

German angst no longer higher behind the old Iron Curtain

BERLIN, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Germans living in the former
communist east are no longer more fearful for the future than
their compatriots, according to an annual survey out on Thursday
that showed no east-west gap in the “angst index” for the first
time in 21 years.

A nation of worriers, more than four in 10 Germans still
suffer high anxiety, but that has fallen from the peaks around
the al Qaeda attacks in the United States and Europe in the
2000s, the global financial crisis and the start of the euro
crisis.

Sep 4, 2013

German eurosceptics a new threat to Merkel as election looms

BERLIN (Reuters) – Support for a new anti-euro party has risen to a record high of 4 percent weeks before Germany holds an election, raising the possibility it could win seats in parliament and hurt Angela Merkel’s chances of forming another centre-right coalition.

A poll by Forsa for Stern magazine showed the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) within 1 point of the threshold needed to enter the Bundestag lower house.

Sep 3, 2013

‘Clever’ Merkel promises to shield Germany from rivals’ taxes

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel urged Germans on Tuesday to re-elect her “clever” government, saying it would shield their businesses and jobs from tax hikes by the center-left.

The chancellor, whose bid for a third term on September 22 is a close contest despite her popularity, said Peer Steinbrueck would ruin her progress on cutting unemployment and cementing economic recovery if his Social Democrats (SPD) came to power.

Sep 1, 2013

German candidates clash on euro and taxes in tight TV duel

BERLIN, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel and her
Social Democrat challenger in this month’s German election
clashed over the euro, tax policy and U.S. spying in a
television debate on Sunday that produced no clear winner.

The only TV duel of the campaign, watched by an estimated 15
million viewers, was one of SPD candidate Peer Steinbrueck’s
last chances to change the momentum in a race in which he has
trailed the popular Merkel from the very start.

Sep 1, 2013

Merkel and challenger clash on Europe in TV debate

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s challenger in this month’s German election accused her in a television debate on Sunday of crushing southern European countries with austerity, declaring her euro crisis strategy a failure.

Merkel, who is seeking a third term in the September 22 vote, hit back, pointing out that rival Peer Steinbrueck’s Social Democrats (SPD) had supported her euro policies in parliament throughout the turmoil of the past years.

Aug 30, 2013

Rival of Merkel takes pacifist stance on Syria before TV duel

BERLIN, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
challenger in the approaching German election, Peer Steinbrueck,
took a stark stance against Western military action in Syria on
Friday in a play to anti-war sentiment ahead of their only TV
duel in the campaign.

After two days of telephone diplomacy by Merkel, who faces a
tricky balancing act between backing Germany’s allies while
heeding German voters’ opposition to an attack, Steinbrueck
tried to differentiate himself in typically blunt style.

Aug 28, 2013

Bring on euro debate, Merkel aide tells rivals before TV duel

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel is relishing the chance to debate the euro zone crisis with challenger Peer Steinbrueck in their only TV duel of the election campaign, despite a row over Greek aid that has put her government on the defensive, her campaign chief said.

Just over three weeks before the election, Steinbrueck’s Social Democrats (SPD) have accused Merkel of hiding the true cost of the euro crisis from German voters.

Aug 20, 2013

Merkel pauses election campaign to visit Dachau concentration camp

DACHAU, Germany (Reuters) – Angela Merkel laid a wreath at Dachau concentration camp on Tuesday, making her the first German chancellor to visit the death camp where Nazis killed more than 41,000 people in the Holocaust.

Taking a pause in her campaign for a third term in office, the chancellor met survivors, including Abba Naor, an 85-year-old Jew whose mother and 5-year-old brother were murdered in concentration camps along with dozens more relatives.

Aug 14, 2013

German eurosceptic says voters are too ignorant to vote for him

BERLIN (Reuters) – The leader of a new Eurosceptic party competing in Germany’s election has blamed its failure to gain more support on voters’ ignorance of economics.

The anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD) made headlines when it launched early this year, but has run out of steam and looks unlikely to clear a 5 percent bar for entering parliament on September 22, when Chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a third term.

    • 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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