June 27, 2012 |
BERLIN - As European leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit aimed at resolving the Eurozone's debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's response to the most aggressive proposal pushed by her neighbors is, in essence: Over my dead body. With borrowing costs for Spain and Italy approaching unsustainable levels, European Union leaders have stepped up their pressure on Germany to accept solutions it has long resisted. But Merkel, whose country has Europe's largest economy and probably will foot the highest share of the bill for rescuing its struggling neighbors, has dug in her heels.
May 14, 2012 |
DUESSELDORF, Germany — Voters in Germany's most populous state dealt a decisive blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union on Sunday, preliminary results show, a potentially ominous preview of things to come for the chancellor in next year's federal elections. Merkel's party mustered about 26% of the vote in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a drop from 35% in 2010 and 45% in 2005, the year she took office, the results show. The opposition Social Democrats and Greens, at about 39% and more than 11%, respectively, secured the majority of seats they needed to form a governing coalition.
May 7, 2012 |
PARIS - Exuberant supporters were still out celebrating Francois Hollande's election as president of France when the first fissures began opening up in the Franco-German motor that drives the rest of Europe. Although officials on both sides of the Rhine vowed to continue their close political cooperation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a blunt rejection Monday of Hollande's pledge to renegotiate a Europe-wide fiscal treaty to rein in public debt. Nor would she countenance deficit spending to boost the economic growth that Europe so desperately needs, pouring cold water on another of Hollande's campaign promises.
February 18, 2012 |
In a major embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany's president resigned Friday after weeks of a brewing scandal over alleged favors he received as an elected official before becoming head of state. With his wife, Bettina, at his side, Christian Wulff acknowledged in a terse statement that the controversy surrounding him had sapped public faith in his ability to serve as president and as a uniting force in Germany. "The republic needs a president … who is supported by the confidence of not only a majority but a wide majority of citizens," Wulff told reporters at the presidential palace in Berlin.
December 5, 2011 |
The leaders of France and Germany pledged to remake the rules of Europe, creating a closer economic union buttressed by strict rules on government spending and automatic sanctions against countries that break them. They now must persuade the rest of Europe to agree, and convince dubious financial markets that the steps are enough to regain control over a debt crisis that threatens to destroy the common euro currency. Compromising on their policy differences, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint news conference in Paris on Monday that the European Union — or at least the inner core of 17 countries that share the euro — requires greater budgetary discipline.
December 2, 2011 |
European leaders are coming to grips with the fact that in forging a stronger union capable of weathering the continent's debt problems, they are also likely to create a more German Europe. Germany and France, the continent's two heavyweights — in that order — each made a proposal in the last two days to tighten the bonds of the Eurozone by putting member nations' spending and budgets under stricter central control. Aligning fiscal and economic policies, they say, is the only way for the zone's shared euro currency to survive this crisis and avoid new ones.