Latest Angela Merkel News

  • German government split on surging refugee numbers
    German government split on surging refugee numbers Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Divisions surfaced in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government Wednesday on whether the country which is Europe's top destination for asylum seekers should take in more refugees. More »

  • German court doubts legality of stay-at-home parents benefit Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The German government may be forced to abolish a 150 euros (108.46 pounds) a month payment for parents looking after a child at home after the country's Constitutional Court signalled on Tuesday that it may be illegal. If the court rules against the benefit in a decision expected later this year, it could expose strains between the three parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition. Introduced by Merkel's previous government, the benefit was championed by Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to her conservatives, but opposed by many from the more left-wing Social Democrats (SPD) with which the two have been in an uneasy coalition since 2013. The case against the "stove bonus", claimed by about 400,000 parents whose young children do not attend kindergarten, was brought by the city of Hamburg, which argues that the central government should not grant benefits that perpetuate inequality. More »

  • Merkel urges unified approach to Iran sanction removal Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged countries which imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme to keep a unified approach to removing them, following Russia's decision to prepare to deliver missile systems to the Islamic Republic. Welcoming this month's agreement with world powers including Russia to curb Iran's nuclear programme, Merkel said in response to a question about Moscow's move: "I urge people to lift those sanctions together, as far as possible. ... More »

  • Dutch populist Wilders mocks Merkel at German PEGIDA rally
    Dutch populist Wilders mocks Merkel at German PEGIDA rally Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders attempted on Monday to boost the German anti-Islam movement PEGIDA with a speech that mocked Chancellor Angela Merkel for saying Muslims "belong to Germany", but the demonstration failed to draw huge crowds. Wilders offered to take Merkel back to the Netherlands with him, provoking chants of "Merkel must go!" from the audience of mostly middle-aged and elderly white men. "Your chancellor, Frau Merkel, has said Islam belongs to Germany and I ask you, is she right? German attitudes to immigrants are in the spotlight since an arson attack nine days ago on an asylum seekers' shelter in the town of Troeglitz. More »

  • India seeks to woo German industry at Hanover Trade Fair
    India seeks to woo German industry at Hanover Trade Fair Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are shown an India-made Volkswagen Vento at the Hannover Messe industrial trade fair on April 13, 2015 More »

  • German foreign minister rejects calls to invite Putin to G7 talks
    German foreign minister rejects calls to invite Putin to G7 talks Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier dismissed on Sunday calls from the radical Left party to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to this year's summit of the Group of Seven industrial powers. The leaders of G7 nations held a summit without Putin last year in protest against Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Gregor Gysi, parliamentary leader of the Left party that includes some former East German communists, has argued that Russia was needed to help solve international crises and the G7 should therefore once again be expanded into the G8. Chancellor Angela Merkel will host leaders from the United States, Britain, France, Canada, Italy and Japan at a castle in Bavaria in June. More »

  • German economy minister plays down boost from EU-U.S. trade deal - magazine
    German economy minister plays down boost from EU-U.S. trade deal - magazine Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    Germany's economy minister warned on Saturday against overblowing expectations for an economic boost from a trade deal between the United States and European Union but said the pact was needed to set high common standards for consumers. The European Commission is trying to finalise a deal on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which some experts say could generate $100 billion a year in additional economic output on both sides of the Atlantic. It would eliminate all tariff barriers between the United States and EU members, which together account for almost half the global economy. "I don't believe in the wondrous calculations for economic growth from (the trade deal) TTIP," said Sigmar Gabriel, also chairman of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) which shares power with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. More »

  • Germany to cut public debt below 70 percent/GDP next year - finance minister …
    Germany to cut public debt below 70 percent/GDP next year - finance minister … Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Germany is cutting its public debt faster than expected, with Berlin now aiming to reduce its debt to less than 70 percent of its economic output next year, according to an excerpt of a finance ministry document seen by Reuters on Friday. Under European Union rules, set out in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, euro zone states are supposed to keep the ratio of their debt to their gross domestic product to 60 percent or less. In its coalition agreement from 2013, Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition agreed to reduce the public debt to below 70 percent of GDP in 2017. More »

  • Germany dismisses Greek demand for billions in WW2 reparations
    Germany dismisses Greek demand for billions in WW2 reparations Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    By Andreas Rinke and Gernot Heller BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's economy minister branded Greece's demand for 278.7 billion euros in reparations from World War Two as "stupid" on Tuesday, while the German opposition said Berlin should repay a forced loan dating from the Nazi occupation. Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas made the demand on Monday, seizing on an emotional issue in a country where many blame Germany, their biggest creditor, for the tough austerity measures and record high unemployment connected with two international bailouts totalling 240 billion euros. Sigmar Gabriel, who is economy minister and German vice chancellor, called the demand "stupid", saying Greece ultimately had an interest in squeezing a bit of leeway out of its euro zone partners to help Athens overcome its debt crisis. "And this leeway has absolutely nothing to do with World War Two or reparation payments," said Gabriel, who leads the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner in the ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. More »

  • Germany dismisses Greek demand for billions in WW II reparations
    Germany dismisses Greek demand for billions in WW II reparations Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    By Andreas Rinke and Gernot Heller BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's economy minister branded Greece's demand for 278.7 billion euros (203.60 billion pounds) reparations from World War Two as "stupid" on Tuesday, while the German opposition said Berlin should repay a forced loan dating from the Nazi occupation. Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas made the demand on Monday, seizing on an emotional issue in a country where many blame Germany, their biggest creditor, for the tough austerity measures and record high unemployment connected with two international bailouts totalling 240 billion euros. Sigmar Gabriel, who is economy minister and German vice chancellor, called the demand "stupid", saying Greece ultimately had an interest in squeezing a bit of leeway out of its euro zone partners to help Athens overcome its debt crisis. "And this leeway has absolutely nothing to do with World War Two or reparation payments," said Gabriel, who leads the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner in the ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. More »

  • Greece needs deal with lenders on April 24 - finance minister to paper Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    Greece must reach an outline funding agreement with its lenders at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on April 24, its finance minister told a Greek newspaper on Monday. "At the Eurogroup (meeting) of April 24 there must be a preliminary conclusion (of the talks), as per the Eurogroup accord on Feb. 20," Yanis Varoufakis told daily Naftemporiki. Gerda Hasselfeldt, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative allies in Bavaria, was quoted in a separate newspaper interview as saying Athens had "wasted precious time" since Germany's Bundestag lower house approved an extension of Greece's bailout in February. Varoufakis said on Sunday following a meeting with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde that Greece intended to meet all obligations to all its creditors, moving to quell fears of a possible default ahead of a 450 million IMF euro loan repayment later this week. More »

  • Merkel says world has 'never been closer' to deal preventing Iran nuclear …
    Merkel says world has 'never been closer' to deal preventing Iran nuclear … Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on welcomed a framework deal agreed between Iran and world powers on Thursday, saying the international community had never "been so close to an agreement preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons". More »

  • Merkel says Ukraine ceasefire hasn't been fully implemented
    Merkel says Ukraine ceasefire hasn't been fully implemented Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the situation in Ukraine had become calmer in the weeks following the Minsk agreement but added that the ceasefire had not yet been fully implemented. Speaking at a news conference in Berlin with Merkel, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said separatists supported by Russian soldiers were still involved in fighting even though that had been reduced. He said 75 Ukrainian forces soldiers had been killed and many injured since the Minsk ceasefire agreement took effect on Feb. 15. More »

  • Merkel says hopes for compromise today in Iran nuclear talks Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped a compromise would be reached later on Wednesday in talks between six world powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme. "I hope and I wish that a compromise will be reached today that corresponds to the conditions we have set - namely that Iran gets no access to nuclear weapons," Merkel said at a news conference with the president of Kyrgyzstan. All sides had made a lot of progress, she said, but "such negotiations only come to an end if there is agreement on all points. ... More »

  • Hollande assures Berlin France will stick to reforms
    Hollande assures Berlin France will stick to reforms Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande inspect a military honor guard on March 31, 2015 in front of the Chancellery in Berlin More »

  • Germanwings crash triggers debate on confidentiality taboo Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Caroline Copley BERLIN (Reuters) - Calls to relax Germany's strict doctor-patient confidentiality law after a Germanwings plane crash last week have touched a nerve in a country obsessed about privacy because of its authoritarian past. A debate on the law began after reports that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot suspected of flying the Airbus A320 into a French mountain and killing all 150 people on board, had hidden sensitive information about his health from the airline. German prosecutors say Lubitz had been treated in the past for suicidal tendencies and also suffered bouts of depression. Dirk Fischer, a senior member of parliament in Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, told the Rheinische Post newspaper the confidentiality rules should be relaxed if the lives of others could be put in jeopardy. More »

  • Merkel and Hollande edge closer after tragedies
    Merkel and Hollande edge closer after tragedies Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - The leaders of Germany and France announced plans on Tuesday to work more closely on economic and security issues after years of strain, saying the tragedies of the Charlie Hebdo killings and air crash in the French Alps had brought them closer. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande, whose relationship has sometimes been tense since the French Socialist took power in 2012, met in Berlin on Tuesday, a week after a German pilot with a history of depression steered an airliner into a mountain in southern France, killing 150 people. The disaster came two months after Islamist gunmen killed 17 people in Paris at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish shop. More »

  • Germany's Merkel says no time to lose on Greece Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Greece needed to stick to its commitments and though there was some leeway for the new government to make some changes, it needed to fulfil the general framework of what had been agreed. More »

  • Merkel says deal on Iran would be 'good sign' but not there yet Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday it would be a positive message if negotiators in Switzerland reach a deal with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme but made clear that there had been no breakthrough in talks. "An agreement would be a good sign," Merkel told a news conference with French President Francois Hollande, saying it was vital that any agreement ensured Iran would not have access to nuclear weapons for a prolonged period of time. More »

  • Hollande: All victims of Germanwings crash to be identified by end of week
    Hollande: All victims of Germanwings crash to be identified by end of week Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that all 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps would be identified by the end of the week. "The French interior minister confirmed that by the end of the week at the latest it will be possible to identify all of the victims thanks to DNA samples," he said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. More »

  • German conservative quits after refusing to back Greek aid extension Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    A prominent Eurosceptic in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc resigned on Tuesday, saying he had come under pressure to back an extension of Greece's bailout, becoming first high-profile German politician to do so. Peter Gauweiler, a senior member of Merkel's Bavarian allies, the Christian Social (CSU), and an outspoken critic of aid to Greece, has led efforts to block euro zone bailouts and the European Central Bank's bond-buying programme in court. "I was publicly asked, because I am vice-chairman of the CSU, to vote in the Bundestag for the opposite of what I have represented in front of the Constitutional Court and to my voters for years," Gauweiler said. Gauweiler had been strongly criticised by CSU leader Horst Seehofer for voting in February against the extension of financial aid for Greece - which was approved by the German parliament, albeit with a record number of dissenters from Merkel's conservatives. More »

  • Euro bailout rebel quits senior German governing party job Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    A prominent opponent of Chancellor Angela Merkel's eurozone bailout policies has announced that he's stepping down as deputy leader of one of Germany's governing parties and giving up his parliamentary ... More »

  • Autofill error leads to disclosure of world leaders' personal data
    Autofill error leads to disclosure of world leaders' personal data Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    Personal details of world leaders at last November’s G20 Summit in Brisbane were accidentally sent to organizers of the Asian Cup football tournament by the Australian immigration department through the use of Outlook's autofill function, The Guardian reported Monday. The G20 breach involved information on 31 international leaders, including United States president Barack Obama, Russian president Vladimir Putin, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese president Xi Jinping, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, and British prime minister David Cameron, according to The Guardian. More »

  • Germany's Merkel says Greek reforms must 'add up' Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Greece had a certain degree of flexibility on which reforms it implements but that the measures must "add up" to the satisfaction of its European partners. "The question is can and will Greece fulfil the expectations that we all have," Merkel said during a visit to Helsinki. More »

  • German eurosceptic leader says infighting won't rip party apart
    German eurosceptic leader says infighting won't rip party apart Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    By Michelle Martin and Hans-Edzard Busemann BERLIN (Reuters) - The founder of the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) has dismissed reports that an identity struggle between economic liberals and right-wingers is tearing the party apart. In recent weeks, German media have been full of stories about infighting in the AfD, which was set up in 2013 to oppose euro zone bailouts and has since stolen votes from Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. More »

  • Obama, Merkel discuss ongoing nuclear talks with Iran - White House Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spoke on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, the White House said in a statement. "They reaffirmed their commitment to achieving a long term comprehensive deal that fully and verifiably ensures that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful going forward, while noting that Iran must make the decisions necessary to resolve several remaining issues," the White House said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler) More »

  • Germany passes road toll; critics say unfairly targets foreigners Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's parliament approved a motorway toll on Friday of up to 130 euros per year from 2016 that critics argue unfairly targets foreigners and may violate European Union laws. A prolonged debate about the toll, which the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) had firmly rejected in the 2013 election campaign, exposed frictions in their grand coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. German drivers would also pay the toll but would be compensated with a corresponding reduction in existing automobile taxes, which critics inside and outside the ruling grand coalition say contravenes EU rules. "This measure conforms with European law - it's high time you all believed that," Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told members of parliament during a debate before the measure passed. More »

  • Merkel says co-pilot role in crash beyond comprehension Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that it was difficult to fathom that a co-pilot from airline Germanwings may have deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps this week, killing 150 people. "Something like this goes beyond the realms of the imaginable," Merkel said during a brief statement in Berlin. "This is a terrible burden for the relatives of the victims," she added. (Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Noah Barkin) More »

  • Could the Germanwings Crash Have Been Avoided?
    Could the Germanwings Crash Have Been Avoided? Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    As I write I am listening to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's announcement that the Germanwings crash in France this week was apparently a deliberate act of suicide/murder. In 2001, my friend and then-Atlantic-colleague William Langewiesche, who has spent all his life around aviation, wrote a celebrated story for our magazine about the evidence that the plane's pilot had deliberately flown the aircraft into the sea. More »

  • Greece prepares reforms, eyes deal with euro zone next week
    Greece prepares reforms, eyes deal with euro zone next week Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    By Lefteris Papadimas and Karolina Tagaris ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will present measures to boost tax revenues and encourage investors as part of a reforms list aimed at reaching a deal with lenders early next week to unlock aid, the government said on Thursday. After talks with EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the past week, Athens said it would present a package of reforms to its euro zone partners by Monday in the hope of avoiding bankruptcy. "I believe that at the beginning of next week we will have an agreement on the package of reforms the Greek government is proposing, and on the funding of the country," Economy Minister George Stathakis told Antenna TV. The reforms are a sensitive issue for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's left-wing government, which came to power in January pledging to end austerity. More »

  • Merkel says crash findings add 'absolutely unimaginable dimension'
    Merkel says crash findings add 'absolutely unimaginable dimension' Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday findings that a Germanwings co-pilot appeared to have deliberately slammed a jet into the French Alps added an "absolutely unimaginable dimension" to the tragedy. More »

  • The Latest: Merkel says co-pilot news 'incomprehensible'
    The Latest: Merkel says co-pilot news 'incomprehensible' Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    5 p.m. (1600 GMT, 12 p.m. EDT) German Chancellor Angela Merkel says news that the co-pilot is believed to have intentionally crashed the plane gives the Germanwings tragedy a "new, simply incomprehensible ... More »

  • Investigators hope cockpit tape will explain Airbus crash
    Investigators hope cockpit tape will explain Airbus crash Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    By Jean-Francois Rosnoblet and Tim Hepher SEYNE-LES-ALPES/PARIS (Reuters) - Investigators have retrieved cockpit voice recordings from one of the "black boxes" of the German jet that crashed in the Alps, killing everyone onboard, and they expect a preliminary read-out of their content in days, an official said on Wednesday. The development came as French President Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel and Spain's Mariano Rajoy travelled to the crash site in a remote French Alpine region to pay tribute to the 150 victims, mostly Germany and Spanish. More »

  • Hollande pledges to shed full light on Alps plane crash Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that authorities would find out what caused the plane crash that killed 150 passengers on Tuesday in the French Alps. Hollande also said that the envelope of a second black box had been found but that investigators were still searching for the box itself. "Dear Angela, dear Mariano, rest assured ... we will find out everything and we will shed full light on the circumstances of this catastrophe," Hollande told German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spain's Mariano Rajoy who had jointly come to pay tribute to the victims. More »

  • The Latest: 2nd black box case found, but not its contents
    The Latest: 2nd black box case found, but not its contents Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    5 p.m. (1600 GMT, 12 p.m. EDT) French President Francois Hollande says the case of the second black box has been found, but not its contents. Speaking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish ... More »