News Bites

Chancellor Angela Merkel told broadcaster ZDF she would prefer new elections to leading a minority government and ruled out stepping down after coalition talks collapsed Sunday night.

The European Medicines Agency, based in London since 1995, will relocate to Amsterdam as Britain leaves the EU. The Dutch capital won out over Milan, Bonn and 16 other cities.

“It is not in our interest that the situation becomes tense,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in reaction to the collapse of coalition talks in Germany.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said political parties should reconsider their positions and take responsibility to form a government. He will meet with all party leaders to help the restart of negotiations.

The Social Democrats’ leader, Martin Schulz, said his party will not enter into a coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the SPD would not shy away from new elections.

France wants a “strong and stable” Germany, an official at the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said as worries over potential political instability in Germany ripple across Europe.

A minority government is likely since new elections would probably not bring about fundamental changes to the previous election results, said Clemens Fuest, a leading German economist.

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, a leader of the Greens, said she “assumes” Germany will have to hold a new federal election following the collapse of coalition talks.

The leader of the far-right party AfD, Alexander Gauland, has called for Angela Merkel to resign following the collapse of coalition talks, saying she has “failed.”

Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, rejects the possibility of a minority government with the Greens, a leading CSU party member said. (Deutschlandfunk)

Despite the collapse of coalition talks, the Social Democrats continue to rule out participation in a grand coalition, the SPD‘s deputy party chairman, Ralf Stegner, said.

Coalition Quagmire

Gallery of Guilt

After talks on forming a coalition government in Germany collapsed dramatically, fingers are pointed as new elections loom – and with them, prospects of an unprecedented minority government.

Berlin Memorials

Where the Streets Have No New Names

Berlin is a city dotted with monuments and memorials to victims of Nazi persecution. But try to dedicate a street to a fallen hero, and you'll find yourself up against the full force of German bureaucracy.

Coalition Headache

Merkel on Thin Ice as ‘Jamaica’ Eludes Germany

The tricky coalition talks to give Germany a new government must continue into the weekend after the four parties missed a key deadline. Angela Merkel’s future hangs in the balance.

SYRIAN CONFLICT

German Help for Raqqa

Germany is contributing €10 million to clear mines in the ruined Syrian city of Raqqa, a former Islamic State group stronghold. But the US wants Berlin to do much more.

News Gallery

In Case You Missed It

The next Boris Becker, talking heads, worried Bavarians and super-popular Germany.

Climate Summit

Global Coal Pledge Puts Merkel on the Spot – Again

A new alliance to phase out coal power by 2030 leaves the host country on the sidelines, as Germany wrestles with its own emissions dilemma.

Colorful Critic

Europe’s Brexit Botherer

The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, is perhaps the EU’s most colorful critic of Brexit. But despite the forthright sound bites, he senses opportunity for the EU in Britain’s departure.

Political Interference

Chinese Meddling Alarms EU Firms

European companies are concerned about mounting Chinese political interference in their operations in the country. Party officials in joint venture firms are starting to demand a say in decision-making.

Problem Coal

Merkel Swipes At Trump On Climate

Angela Merkel praised US cities and states that work toward climate goals despite Donald Trump's pullout from the Paris agreement. But the German chancellor faced plenty of questions herself.

Media in Russia

Trump and Putin Squeeze German Broadcaster

By clamping down on its alleged interference in US politics, Washington has given Moscow an excuse to restrict media freedoms in Russia. German broadcaster Deutsche Welle is caught in the crossfire.

Outside NATO

After Trump Criticism, EU Agrees Joint Defense Steps

Defense and foreign ministers from 23 EU countries agreed to coordinate defense policy without the US.

Energy Policy

Coalition Debate Slams Into Climate Goals

Politicians are still wide apart on how Germany can meet ambitious climate targets even as its reliance on coal comes under scrutiny.

Independence Crisis

Rajoy Defends His Policies in Catalonia

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said there is no alternative scenario to solve the Catalan crisis and he is convinced that separatists in the region will lose support in next month’s elections.

EU Budget

The Brexit Cost Dilemma

As Brussels and London haggle over Britain's divorce bill, a new study sheds light on the hard financial decisions facing EU members once Britain leaves. Should Germany make up the difference?

elder poverty in germany, retirees at risk

Social Insecurity

Single Retired Female

In discussions about inequality in Germany, economists and politicians ignore the fact that a person’s family situation greatly influences their financial outlook.

Income Equality

Do You Really Want to Know What Your Colleagues Earn?

In January new laws give German employees the right to ask what colleagues are earning. But research shows that income transparency can be a double-edged sword.

Education

German Schools Slowly Going Digital

While studies show Germany lags far behind other countries when it comes to innovation in the classroom, private schools are pioneering the use of digital tools.

Art Forgery

Black Square, Red Faces

The Kasimir Malevich painting “Black Square, Red Square,” thought to be worth at least €50 million, is actually fake. It's a blow to the reputation of the German museum that owns it.

Franco-German Alliance

Cross-Border Mergers Are Good, Says French Minister

Bruno Le Maire, who met with German party leaders holding coalition talks this week, says consolidation and solidarity can help Europe keep its edge in an increasingly protectionist world.

Coal phase-out

The Burning Issue

As coalition talks reach a critical juncture over climate policy, dozens of leading German firms call on the future government to ditch coal power.

Low Unemployment

Germany’s Golden Age of Prosperity

Current economic growth is rivaling the period after World War II, but Germany will have to make more investments to keep it going.

Auto Regulations

Helping and Punishing

Carmakers will face watered-down EU targets to cut CO2 emissions and incentives to sell alternative fuel-powered cars as Europe fears losing out to US and Chinese rivals.

Bingeworthy

Blockbuster Berlin

Two unique German TV series drawing international attention depict German life in a German city with German context and aren't even about Hitler or the Stasi.

Merkel Speaks

Coalition Talks: Time for the Big Guns

Friday marked the first head-to-head of leaders from Germany's main political parties hoping to form a government. That may be the only way to unblock the difficult talks.

Climate Change

It’s Not Easy Being Green

On the eve of a major climate change conference in Bonn, Germany receives an embarrassingly poor report card from its own panel of energy experts.

Tax Avoidance

What to Do About the Paradise Papers

German politicians have emerged largely unscathed from the global "Paradise Papers" release to date. But that hasn't stopped Berlin from demanding that more steps be taken to stop tax avoidance.

Paris anger

Airbus Scandal Spoils French-German Romance

The parties in negotiation with Chancellor Angela Merkel to form a coalition government rejected a French suggestion to rein in the airplane maker by tightening state controls.