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Video: Today's Top News at Noon in Berlin

E.U. Refugee Chief Scolds Delinquent Member States

The European Union’s top official in charge of refugees said the 28-nation bloc has done woefully little to ease the humanitarian crisis on the continent. So far, only 208 refugees from Greece and 257 from Italy have found homes in other E.U. countries – a far cry from the 160,000 who were supposed to be resettled by now.

European Refugee Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos of Greece told Handelsblatt in an interview that the European Union expects Athens to do more to stem the flow of refugees from Turkey.

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Deutsche Bank Said to be Planning Multi-Billion Bond Buyback

Deutsche Bank on Wednesday would not comment on a report that Germany’s largest bank plans to buyback billions of euros worth of its own debt to douse investor fears and slow a run on its share price.

The Financial Times cited unnamed insiders as saying the buyback would target senior debt. Deutsche Bank has about €50-billion worth of senior debt outstanding. Since the beginning of January, its share price has plunged by 40 percent on fears of a global recession. Deutsche Bank’s shares rose by about 4 percent on the report in early trading in Frankfurt.

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Political Ally Compares Merkel to East German Dictator

The chairman of Angela Merkel’s Bavarian political ally on Tuesday compared her unyielding stance on European refugees to the dictatorial style of former East Germany’s communist rulers. In an interview with regional daily Passauer Neue Presse, Horst Seehofer said Ms. Merkel’s refusal to cap the refugees amounted to “no rule of law” in Germany. The phrase was used a quarter century ago to refer to Soviet-era dictators such as East Germany’s Erich Honecker.

Mr. Seehofer’s reference was condemned by Ms. Merkel’s political allies, who said he’d blundered and lost restraint. The remarks were likely to escalate the crisis in Ms. Merkel’s conservative ruling coalition.

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