Chief Correspondent, Germany
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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.

Oct 30, 2013

Merkel, SPD agree to renew German push for transaction tax

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s next government will renew a push for a financial transactions tax, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed at a second round of coalition talks on Wednesday.

With Merkel’s outgoing center-right government and the SPD having broadly agreed on EU policy during the euro zone crisis, the transactions tax provided an early opportunity to inject some momentum into their tricky coalition talks.

Oct 17, 2013

Indian firms perform best in BRICS: corruption watchdog

BERLIN (Reuters) – The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has admonished Chinese companies for their opaque business practices while praising Indian firms’ relatively high standards, in a survey of emerging market multinationals released on Thursday.

China got the lowest rating of the BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), whose companies made up three quarters of the total sample in the survey of 100 of the fastest-growing multinationals in 16 emerging economies. Indian firms performed the best.

Oct 17, 2013

Corruption watchdog slams Chinese firms’ lack of transparency

BERLIN, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The anti-corruption watchdog
Transparency International has admonished Chinese companies for
their opaque business practices while praising Indian firms’
relatively high standards, in a survey of emerging market
multinationals released on Thursday.

China got the lowest rating of the BRICS economies (Brazil,
Russia, India, China and South Africa), whose companies made up
three quarters of the total sample in the survey of 100 of the
fastest-growing multinationals in 16 emerging economies.

Oct 14, 2013

Merkel and left pencil in third round of talks on coalition

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) said early on Tuesday they were likely to hold a third round of talks later this week to explore the possibility of forming a coalition government.

After eight hours of discussions, Hermann Groehe, second-in-command of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said they had “protectively” agreed to meet again on Thursday to discuss reviving the 2005-2009 ‘grand coalition’ with the SPD.

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.

    • 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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