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Human rights activist to be new German president

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel said her coalition and the opposition had agreed Sunday to nominate former East German rights activist Joachim Gauck as a consensus candidate to become Germany’s next president. The decision came following Christian Wulff’s resignation from the post Friday over a corruption probe and after members…

Germany’s president resigns in blow to Merkel

Germany’s president resigned Friday after a string of scandals, handing Chancellor Angela Merkel a political headache at home as she battles to lead Europe from its debt crisis. “I am … today stepping down from the office of federal president to free up the way quickly for a successor,” Christian…

Merkel, Sarkozy demand tough new eurozone pact

France and Germany want a new EU treaty by March with tougher budgetary rules to deal with the eurozone debt crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday. The two leaders made the announcement after crunch talks in Paris at the start of a crucial week for the…

77% of Germans want neo-Nazi party banned

BERLIN — Three-quarters of Germans want the neo-Nazi NPD party banned, a poll showed on Friday, after the discovery of an extreme far-right cell believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers. The survey, by polling agency Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, revealed that 77 percent of Germans want the NPD (National…

Leaders meet on crunch weekend for European banking

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagardearrived in Paris on Saturday for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy on a crunch weekend for the European debt crisis. She made no comment as she went into the Elysee palace. After their talks, Sarkozy was to head to Berlin on Sunday to meetGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel,…

Euro chiefs race to prop up banks

Facing renewed calls by US President Barack Obama for swift action to tackle its debt crisis, eurozone leaders raced Friday to stave off a credit crunch with talks in Berlin and Athens. Efforts now seem focused on reassuring investors that Europe’s banks are safe, to dispel fears of a possible…

German coalition rebels to hold euro fund vote

Rebels from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners, the Free Democrats, have collected enough signatures to force a party vote on the EU’s permanent bailout fund, they announced Tuesday. FDP member Frank Schaeffler, one of the most prominent rebels, said on his website that 3,650 signatures had been gathered, or…

Germany ‘won’t give more to EU bail-out fund’

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out Germany contributing any more money to the beefed-up EU bail-out fund than the 211 billion euros approved by parliament, in an interview published Saturday. “The European Financial Stability Facility has a ceiling of 440 billion euros ($590 billion), 211 billion of which is…

Merkel wins key euro vote, Greece gets audit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday won a crucial vote on boosting the EU’s rescue fund that was seen as a perilous test of her authority as debt-mired Greece braced for an international audit. The news came as a relief to Merkel, but jittery markets took the result in their stride,…

Greece to face inspectors as Germany hints bailout

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s lenders are sending a team to Athensto inspect a government austerity plan they want implemented in exchange for aid, while Germany suggested a new bailout may have to be renegotiated. Facing a wave of strikes and protests, Greece’s Socialist governmentis accelerating its debt strategy to meet the terms of an International…

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