News Bites

Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz is the most frequently mentioned candidate on Twitter, followed by AfD’s top candidate Alice Weidel, a social media analysis found. Chancellor Angela Merkel comes in a distant fourth.

Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a two-year transition period after Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019, during which London would pay its €20 billion debt to the EU and retain access to the single market.

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán, a staunch critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel, told national media he “prays” for her to win Germany’s federal election on Sunday.

Environment and Housing Minister Barbara Hendricks called for a new rental cap after a Berlin court ruled the current law is unconstitutional. She said 40 percent of households living in rented accommodation spend at least one-third of their income on rent.

Berlin will cap export credit guarantees for German companies doing business in Turkey to €1.5 billion in 2017, a move that exposes firms to higher risk, amid political tensions between the two countries.

The Bundesrat, the German equivalent of the US Senate, elected Berlin Mayor Michael Müller as its new speaker. He will succeed Rhineland-Palatinate state premier Malu Dreyer for a one-year term on November 1.

A niqab-wearing woman suspected of assaulting the owner of an Arab lingerie shop in Berlin last month was arrested. The Polish-German suspect told police the erotic shop window offended her religious views.

Denmark contemplates introducing a highway toll in 2020, charging foreign motorists up to €130 euros a year. The scheme is based on Germany’s controversial road tax project.

Authorities in Dortmund evacuated 800 residents of a high-rise building to fireproof it after finding that similar cladding was used as on London’s Grenfell Tower. Around 80 people died when fire devastated the British complex in June.

Parliament’s legal department cast doubts on the lawfulness of Chancellor Merkel’s 2015 open-door policy, arguing the Bundestag should probably have voted on allowing refugees into the country. (Die Welt)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised Angela Merkel for refraining from criticizing Turkey. The German chancellor “pursues meaningful politics” and the current tensions between both countries would ease, he said. (Reuters)

Germany’s public debt fell by €60 billion to €1.98 trillion in the first half of 2017, a 2.9-percent decrease from the same time last year, the Federal Statistical Office said.

Opponents of renaming a street after former chancellor Helmut Kohl in his native Frankenthal have submitted a petition with 1,000 signatures to the city. They say the renaming would be too costly to local business people. (dpa)

political options

Wanting Change, Voting for None

A new study shows Germans wish Berlin would govern differently and points to immigration, security and fiscal sovereignty.

News Gallery

In Case You Missed It

A bag of cash, a hall of mirrors and who's heading to the polls.

Online voter tools

The Tinderization of Democracy

Some voters use computer algorithms to figure out how to vote. Is that helpful – or dangerous for democratic debate?

Alternative for Germany

Cosmopolitan Lesbian Turns Far-Right Agitator

Alice Weidel is the female face of the country’s traditionalist, nationalist and often xenophobic populist party, Alternative for Germany.

political satire

Pranking the Parties

Drag queens and comedians have made a mockery of this year's German election — but their message is much more serious than their means.

News Gallery

In Case You Missed It

An election where the far right wins hands down, awkwardly close to foreign despots, justice denied and mayhem in Cologne.

Ex-Party Leader

Is Sigmar Gabriel Germany’s Bernie Sanders?

The Social Democrats are struggling to regain their voter base among working class Germans and may have chosen the wrong man to lead the fight.

SKILLS SHORTAGE

All Hands on Deck as Germany Nears Full Employment

Germany’s skill shortage hits rural, family-owned firms the hardest, forcing them into creative solutions.

Coalition Partners

Difficult Kingmakers

If Angela Merkel wants to avoid another "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats, she'll have to reach a deal with a group of smaller parties that don't much like each other.

Curbing China

EU Raising the Drawbridge

German politicians welcome EU proposals to shield European firms from foreign takeovers, particularly by the Chinese. But business leaders are concerned.

Merkel's Diplomacy

A North Korean Mediator?

Germany wants to play a bigger role in North Korea, and bring a dose of realism to the talks. Whether they can get anyone to listen is another matter.

Russia Backed

Gaining Strength on Germany’s Hard Right

With its tough anti-immigrant message, the far right Alternative for Germany is gaining ground, forcing Chancellor Angela Merkel to sound more against open borders herself.

North Korea

Germany’s Game Theorists Puzzle over Pyongyang

It's easier to forecast the results of Brexit than the war of words between the US and North Korea.

Digital Tax

The Long Arm of the EU Tax Man

France is pushing a proposal, backed by Germany and several other EU member states, to slap a sales tax on revenues generated by online companies like Amazon and Google. But not all states are on board.

prachttomate tagesspiegel community garden Berlin neukoelln

Gentrification

An Urban Garden Fights for its Life

A community garden in Berlin turned an abandoned yard into a green paradise. But the growing pressures of gentrification may pull up the collaborative project's roots.

Merkel-Trump

The New Friction Between Berlin and Washington

Trade, Russia, Iran, defense spending: Various conflicts are simmering between Germany and the United States that could come to a boil after the German election next week.

Campaign Trials

The Tale of the Cow-Print Tie, and Other Strange Stories

On the sidelines of a mostly-unsurprising German election, the local media, desperate for an interesting headline or three, are digging up unsavory truths, minor scandals and hilarious videos.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Christian Democrats Neither Have Nor Need An Ideology

Few Germans could say what exactly Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union stands for. On September 24, they will give the CDU another victory all the same.

YouGov Survey

Don’t Talk About Europe

A new survey by YouGov finds Germans are less enthusiastic than their neighbors about reforming the European Union.

Closing Loopholes

EU Ministers to Discuss Sales Tax for Digital Firms

Online giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google may soon face a new "digital tax" on sales in the EU, as officials crack down on corporate tax avoidance.

Handelsblatt explains

Why the Social Democrats Have a Proud Past and Uncertain Future

One of the world’s oldest democratic parties, and once Germany’s only political force to resist Hitler, the SPD is nonetheless struggling to stay relevant.

EU Reform

A Tepid Welcome From Berlin

Jean-Claude Juncker’s vision of expanding Europe’s currency union drew praise from a German government keen not to be accused of euroskepticism ahead of the September 24 election.

germany federal election posters

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germany Has 34 Political Parties

The kaleidoscope of Germany’s political scene – with dozens of factions in the running alongside the major parties – is democracy in action, even when it’s kooky.

Missile Defense

Turkey’s Arms Deal Is a Slap Against Merkel, Trump

Turkey is goading its NATO allies by purchasing a Russian air defense system after Germany imposed an arms embargo over human rights violations.

ELECTION 2017

Fake News Failing, but Hackers Still in the Game

Misinformation and hacker attacks could still blot the German election, but the danger seems less acute than in the United States.

Reparation Claims

Poland’s Weak Hand

Warsaw is demanding more reparations from Germany for World War II. But despite the sensitivities, expect Berlin to call its bluff.

Sigmar Gabriel

Enough Military, More Aid

Germany's foreign minister doesn't believe his country should meet a pledge to boost defense spending. He also suggested Russian sanctions could be eased. His boss, Angela Merkel, disagrees.

ELECTION 2017

Merkel Seen Romping to Victory, But Losing MPs

Germany’s complex electoral system means the winners could end up with fewer seats, leaving some high-ranking politicians fearing for their future.

frankfurt airport

Suspected Tear Gas Attack in Frankfurt

Several people have been injured in suspected tear gas attack at a check-in counter at Frankfurt Airport, according to media reports.

CONTEMPORARY ART

Beauty: a Political Concept

A retrospective of work by Wolfgang Tillmans, one of Germany’s foremost photographers explores questions of humanity.

Business Jargon

Whistling Pigs, Pressed Thumbs and the Devil that Eats Flies

Translating one country’s idioms into the language of another doesn’t always work. But Germans still do it. Peter Littger, author of a book on linguistic misunderstandings, laments the curse of Denglisch.

Grey Dictatorship

In With the Old, Out With the New

German voters are older than ever and politicians win their votes by servicing the status quo. But the issues that will guarantee Germany a successful economic future are youth issues.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Alternative for Germany is No Alternative

For the first time since the Second World War, a far-right party appears likely to enter the German parliament. But German democracy is mature enough to absorb it.