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Photostream : German Defence Minister visits troops at the combat training centre of the Bundeswehr

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere (L) visits troops at the combat training centre of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces in Letzlingen near Magdeburg, some 190 km (118 miles) east of Berlin, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere (L) speaks with a soldier as he visits the combat training centre of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces in Letzlingen near Magdeburg, some 190 km (118 miles) east of Berlin, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere (L) shakes hands with a soldier as he visits the combat training centre of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces in Letzlingen near Magdeburg, some 190 km (118 miles) east of Berlin, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere (2nd R) talks with officers as he watches a military training of the 13th armoured infantry brigade at the combat training centre of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces in Letzlingen near Magdeburg, some 190 km (118 miles) east of Berlin, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere (2nd R) watches a military training of the 13th armoured infantry brigade at the combat training centre of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces in Letzlingen near Magdeburg, some 190 km (118 miles) east of Berlin, March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in World News

 

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German minister resigns amid plagiarism scandal

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg announces his resignation from all political offices in Berlin, March 1, 2011. Guttenberg, the most popular member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet, has been embroiled in a plagiarism row. Merkel had defended Guttenberg and analysts said he was important for conservative party hopes in three state elections later this month. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

 

 

BERLIN (KATAKAMI.COM / AP) — Germany’s defense minister, a rising star in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the country’s most popular politician, has resigned over allegations he plagiarized his doctoral thesis, as reported by AP.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters Tuesday he felt that he could no longer carry out his duties as minister.

Guttenberg had admitted “grave mistakes” in his 2007 thesis but insisted he did not intentionally copy it. Bayreuth University revoked Guttenberg’s doctoral title last week.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in World News

 

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Photostream : German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) listens to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi upon his arrival at the Chancellery in Berlin January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on January 12, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Berlusconi is in Berlin to participate in German-Italian governmental consultations, and a major topic of discussion will be measures for stabilizing the Euro. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shake hands as they pose for the media after they address a news conference following their bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi address a news conference following their bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle arrive for a group photo of the Italian and German government delegations at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on January 12, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Berlusconi is in Berlin to participate in German-Italian governmental consultations, and a major topic of discussion will be measures for stabilizing the Euro. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi by the arm in order to allow space for wheelchair-bound German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble prior to a group photo of the two countries' delegations at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on January 12, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Berlusconi is in Berlin to participate in German-Italian governmental consultations, and a major topic of discussion will be measures for stabilizing the Euro. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in World News

 

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemns 'barbaric' Egypt church attack


 

 

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January 03, 2011 (KATAKAMI / EXPATICA) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday condemned as “barbaric” the bombing of a church in Egypt that killed 21 people on New Year’s Day.

“I received the news of the awful attack on a church in Alexandria with disgust and anger,” Merkel said in a letter of condolence to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to a government statement.

“The (German) government deplores in the strongest terms this barbaric act of terror in which Christians, but also Muslims, lost their lives.”

She added: “I thank you for the measures already introduced to protect Coptic Christians in Egypt and am convinced that you will do everything in your power to prevent further incidents like this in the future.”

Twenty-one people were killed early on Saturday and 79 wounded when an apparent suicide bomber blew himself up as hundreds of worshippers were leaving the Al-Qiddissin (The Saints) church in Alexandria.

The bombing has further underscored the vulnerability of the Copts, who make up about 10 percent of the country’s 80-million population and complain of discrimination.  (*)

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in World News

 

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses New Year's speech to stress importance of euro

German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses moments after delivering her New Year's television address to the nation at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on December 30, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Henning Schacht-Pool/Getty Images)

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December 31, 2010 (KATAKAMI / DEUTSCHE WELLE) — The chancellor highlighted the importance of the euro in her New Year’s speech, saying the single currency was at the center of Germany’s prosperity. She also said Germany had emerged stronger from the economic crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened her annual New Year’s Eve address to the nation by looking back to her speech from one year ago, when Germany faced an uncertain year ahead.

“Let me be completely open,” she said as she started her address. “A year ago, when I sat before you and delivered this speech, I looked to the future confidently but with mixed feelings, because our country was in the middle of a financial and economic crisis.”

As 2010 comes to a close, however, Merkel struck a much more confident tone, patting Germans on the back for helping pull the country out of the economic doldrums.

“Germany mastered the crisis like almost no other country,” she said. “We even emerged from the crisis strengthened.”

“Never have more people had work in reunified Germany than today. The number of unemployed is the lowest in almost 20 years,” the chancellor said.

“We have come out of the crisis stronger. And that is, above all, thanks to you, my fellow citizens.”

Euro ‘intertwined’ with Germany

While Germany leads the way economically among European nations, other countries are still struggling, which has led to widespread unemployment and fears about the eurozone’s shared currency.

The euro is important for Germany and Europe, Merkel said
However, Merkel defended the euro in her speech, saying it was intertwined with Germany’s “well-being.”

“Europe is currently facing a big test. We have to strengthen the euro. It is not just about our money. The euro is much more than a currency,” Merkel said.

“Fortunately, we Europeans are unified. A united Europe is the guarantor for our peace and freedom. The euro forms the foundation of our prosperity,” she said.

“Germany needs Europe and our common currency, for our own well-being and also in order to overcome big challenges worldwide.”

Job well done

Merkel drew a comparison between the hard work displayed by Germans to pull themselves out of the economic crisis to the country’s national soccer team, which took third place at the World Cup in South Africa.

Germans rallied around the national team during the World Cup
“Our national soccer team wonderfully demonstrated precisely those virtues that make us strong: diligence and discipline, imagination and technical quality of the highest standard.”

The chancellor looked ahead to the summer of 2011, when Germany is to play host to the 2011 women’s World Cup. The host nation is seen as a strong title contender, which Merkel referenced in her speech.

“When the women’s World Cup takes place in Germany next year, our team will be hoping to win its third title,” she said. “With our support, they can certainly do it, and I’m looking forward to the opening game in Berlin.”

Soldiers not forgotten

Germany’s armed forces received a lot of attention in 2010, both for the debate about ending Germany’s long-standing policy of conscription and the Bundeswehr’s role as part of NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan.

The chancellor paid her respects to the nine German soldiers who died this year in Afghanistan.

“Even though no words from me can ease the pain felt by the families and friends of those who have fallen, I want to say from the bottom of my heart: that they will not be forgotten,” Merkel said.

Merkel wrapped up her speech by looking forward to the year ahead, calling on Germans to live in solidarity – “from person to person.” Germany should not strive to “have more” but to “live better,” Merkel said, which serves to foster togetherness and well-being in the country.

Quoting philosopher Karl Popper, Merkel said: “The future is wide open. It is dependent on us – all of us.” To that Merkel added, “In this sense, let us look ahead to the next year with ideas, curiosity, and passion for the solutions to new challenges.” (*)

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in World News

 

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Photostream : German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg visits Afghanistan

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel checks her mobile phone at the Transall prior she leaves after her visit on December 18, 2010 in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Merkel, who is on her third trip to Afghanistan, paid her respects to German soldiers currently deployed and the 45 troops who have lost their lives during the conflict. She is being accompanied by Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Bundeswehr chief of staff Volker Wieker. (Photo by Steffen Kugler/Bundesregierung-Pool via Getty Images)

Picture provided by the press department of German Government shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right as she talks to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, as German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, second right, and US general David Petraeus, second left, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, look on during their meeting in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan Satuday Dec. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Steffen Kugler,German Government)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) talks to German Bundeswehr soldiers during a visit to a camp in Kunduz province December 18, 2010. Merkel is visiting the German Bundeswehr armed forces troops with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. A lens flare causes the effect seen in the lower right corner of the photo. REUTERS/Bundesregierung/Steffen Kugler/Handout

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg attend a memorial service for a German soldier, who died yesterday, at Camp Marmal in Basar-e-Sharif during her visit of an ISAF soldier camp on December 18, 2010 in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Merkel, who is on her third trip to Afghanistan, paid her respects to German soldiers currently deployed and the 45 troops who have lost their lives during the conflict. She is being accompanied by Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Bundeswehr chief of staff Volker Wieker. (Photo by Steffen Kugler/Bundesregierung-Pool via Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L), Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and German Bundeswehr armed forces soldiers observe a moment of silence for fallen comrades during Merkel's visit in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, December 18, 2010. Merkel is visiting the German Bundeswehr armed forces troops with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2010 in World News

 

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