• Germany's news in English

Merkel blamed for Cyprus bailout 'disaster'

The Local · 20 Mar 2013, 13:33

Published: 20 Mar 2013 10:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2013 13:33 GMT+01:00

"Cyprus is our partner in the euro area and that is why it is our duty to find a solution together," Merkel told reporters after talks with German lawmakers.

"I regret the vote of the Cypriot parliament yesterday but of course we respect this vote. Now we are waiting to see what proposals Cyprus makes to the troika," she added, referring to the group of international creditors.

On Tuesday Cypriot MPs unanimously rejected the terms of an EU bailout, decrying as "blackmail" the deal, which offered the debt-laden island €10 billion on the condition a controversial levy be put on large savings in Cypriot bank accounts.

The levy would have taken up to 10 percent from larger accounts, many of which are held by wealthy Russians and other foreigners, while sparing small savers with less than €20,000.

Merkel said that while the banking sector should stump up part of Cyprus's

share of the bailout, she noted that eurozone finance ministers do not support

drawing a contribution from depositors with less than €100,000 in their accounts.

Although she and other EU leaders have since distanced themselves from the controversial proposal, Germany's political opposition slammed Merkel's handling of the crisis.

"Even if [Chancellor] Angela Merkel doesn't want to know any more: the Cyprus disaster bears her signature," Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) told Der Spiegel magazine on Wednesday.

"[Chancellor] Angela Merkel shares responsibility for [the result] that in Cyprus small time savers are expected to foot the bill - but the banks get away scot-free," Gabriel told the magazine.

Furious Cypriots demonstrated against the compulsory levy on offer by the Troika - the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, with many islander politicians also placing the blame squarely on German shoulders.

It was the first time in the eurozone debt crisis that national politicians had rejected the terms offered by the Troika on a badly needed bailout package.

In the words of one Cypriot Green Party MP during the parliamentary debate on Tuesday, the banking sector needed down-scaling, "but not with a pistol against its chest" and "not on the basis of a deal which destroys Cyprus's economy and makes us into slaves."

Amid the chaos, Cyprus was forced on Monday to close banks until at least Thursday after large queues formed at ATMs on the island.

As the island struggled to regain its composure on Wednesday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said he regretted the Cypriot parliament's rejection of the bailout offer and warned against "irrational, irresponsible solutions" to its debt crisis.

"We acknowledge and regret the decision. For a rescue plan to exist we need a credible way to know how Cyprus will regain access to financial markets," said Schäuble in a television interview. "For now the debt is too high ... it must be reduced."

"The situation is serious but this must not lead us to take decisions that make no sense," he told public ZDF television, without elaborating.

Schäuble's comment came as the Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris met with Russian counterpart Anton Siluanov in Moscow, where the EU bailout offer has also been greeted with widespread anger.

Russian investors with vast amounts of cash in the island's banks would stand to lose billions of euros from the introduction of the levy on larger accounts.

AFP/DPA/The Local/jlb

Related articles

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:08 March 20, 2013 by sonriete
Schauble needs to take advise from Donald Rumsfeld; when you're in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging.

Every time he opens his mouth lately he just makes matters worse. His "irrational irresponsible solutions" are an obvious warning not to seek Russian help. Apparently he and Merkel's think it is rational to take the troika offer like Greece did and expect your country will not fall into a deep years long depression as a result.

It is the definition of madness is for them to do the same thing as the Greeks and expect a different result.
12:14 March 20, 2013 by Istabraq
Well done Angie. You have finally broken the camel's back. This was bound to happen sooner or later. The Irish, Portugese, Spanish and Greeks should have done this already. Respect to Cyprus for telling Angie and her Elite banking system buddies to F0ff.
13:43 March 20, 2013 by liondens
If it's not her then who else? The risk averse frau Merkel thinks she is running europe, but this tiny little country might teach her a valuable lesson of humility. Unlike other bigger countries that have no balls to stand up and allowed themselves to be dictated by foreigners! That's right, europe is a continent, not a federation!
13:58 March 20, 2013 by uk_expat
Wake-up folks!

The EU said there needs to be a contribution from the bank depositors to rescue the Cyprus banks, but it was the Cyprus government that proposed imposing a levy on all accounts (including deposits less than 100k€) - Not the EU.

What we are seeing now is some fancy foot work from the Cyprus politicians trying to shift the blame.

They have rejected 10B€ of assistance from the EU and are now talking to the Russians. I'll be amazed if they get a better deal (for their citizens) from the Russians.
14:11 March 20, 2013 by raandy
Cyprus has a very different banking system than the rest of the EU, almost 90% of its deposits are from foreign investors.This includes Russians long believed to be laundering their money there. They had fair warning that the Cypriot banks were in trouble. Mrs Merkel and Mr.Schäuble did not create this banking problem in Cyprus. Another good reason why banks need supervision.They leveraged way beyond their means , bought junk Greek bonds with their depositors money. even after the Greeks needed a a bail out. I agree that taking money from depositors is a dangerous president. Now that they have refused the offer put forward. The EU will not pump in any more liquidity unless Cyprus comes up with a solution to make the bank solvent again, by Friday.This is a much worse situation than what is presently offered.The ECB has threatened to end emergency lending for the teetering Cyprus banking system. Merkel wants a plan for repairing the over blown banking system with out increasing the national debt. Cyprus has grossly mismanaged their banking system and is basically asking european taxpayers to be put on the hook to bring it back to solvency.Keeping in mind that most of the deposits were non european to begin with.The Russians should be a lot more concerned about their deposit rather than the 10% haircut to their deposits.
14:23 March 20, 2013 by liondens
"The EU said there needs to be a contribution from the bank depositors to rescue the Cyprus banks, but it was the Cyprus government that proposed imposing a levy on all accounts (including deposits less than 100k€) - Not the EU."

So, what do you think people? How else the bank depositors contribute here, volunteerily to give their own money? In another word, the EU gave Cyprus a rope to hang themselves, and say they have nothing to do with it!
15:18 March 20, 2013 by RajeshG
More returns, more risk, this is the dictum of financial world. You donot want to pay tax and so you take out all your money and deposit it in risky low tax haven like Cyprus - so when sun was shining all these years nobody was complaining and come rain and thunder - the depositors start whining. Why should high tax economies bail out such tax havens? Tomorrow, Liechtenstein or Bermuda have problems and then you want to bake the cake and eat it too.
15:59 March 20, 2013 by smart2012
Guys, German banks are exposed in Cyprus for 5.8 billions Euros. Not just Russian. Lets make the banks paying, not tax payers.

Ops, in Germany no one say that
16:32 March 20, 2013 by burito
Kick them out of Euro... Cyprus ,Greece,and others who is very *proud*of them selves..How come Latvia(Nortern European country) get a bailout ,but were able to fix their economy and next year they will join the Euro..Why norther Europeans can do it and southerners not?..
17:39 March 20, 2013 by sonriete
The Cypriot Parliment is just trying to protect their people from descending into a horrendous depression as Greece has. The EU Commission and the ECB have become masters at making every kind of statement causing people to believe their is an EU backstop which this mess proves is not true. Their motive is obviously to stop contagion to the PIGGS a task that is hopeless, all the while Schauble, Draghi et al lose every drop of their credibility by using their double talk, which eventually will make contagion inevitable. Just last night Schauble was announcing to the media that depositor haircuts would never be asked of other euro zone depositors and all this will have no effect on any other euro zone country, that Cypruss is unique. If he says all of that he should be fully prepared to act to prove it so if necessary or else don't open his big mouth at all. If they want to save the euro, they should start by shutting off all microphones when certain people enter a room.
17:40 March 20, 2013 by jg.
Let's clear few things up.

It was the troika that told Cyprus they would have to "tax" Cypriot bank accounts to raise over 5 billion euros, if they were to receive 10 billion Euros of bailout. This was a cynical ploy to grab cash from outside the Eurozone as most of it would have come from Cypriot branches of non-Cypriot banks, none of which have anything to do with any insolvency issues of Cypriot banks. A case in point is VTB bank: many Russians living in Cyprus have accounts with VTB, a bank which is 75% owned by the Russian state, has no insolvency issues and nothing to do with the Eurozone mess.

Of the Cypriot banks, only one (Laiki Bank) has any real insolvency problem - and they are in this mess precisely because the troika told them to be good EUropeans and buy Greek bonds to keep Greece from going exiting the Euro and defaulting.

Now everyone with bank accounts in heavily indebted EZ countries has to consider if their money is safe. For that reason alone,it was a stupid thing to suggest. The Cypriots had no choice but to reject it and ask for help from their biggest investors. the irony is that a deal with the Russians may give Gazprom exclusive rights to exploit Cypriot offshore gas reserves, ensuring the Russian monopoly on EU gas supplies is maintained.
17:46 March 20, 2013 by Englishted
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble ,I have an idea why not take 90% of every bank account in the Euro zone and use the money to expand Europe around the globe to include countries that have nothing to offer ,but who cares its is only somebody else's money after all said and done.
17:52 March 20, 2013 by sonriete
@j JG, you are very right about this, and now the troika has left the Cypriots no choice but to do a deal with the Russians. Agree to troika terms and your off shore banking industry with thousands of well paying jobs disappears overnight and you head into a long depression or deal with the Russians.

If the EU doesn't want the Cypriot gas reserves controlled by Russia, that is a political decision on their part, separate from any bank crisis, for the whole of the EU to step up and deal with. gentlemen, open your check books.
18:07 March 20, 2013 by Istabraq
How the Fall of Greece Affects YOU -- No Matter Where You Are (Foster Gamble).

18:28 March 20, 2013 by gorongoza
In the picture I see faces that say it all, very angry faces - angry at Germany.
18:52 March 20, 2013 by Istabraq
They also realise MErkyl and her Bankster buddies are the core problem.
20:11 March 20, 2013 by Englishted
Would not have happened if they had not got rid of the British and it would still be united.
16:21 March 21, 2013 by Darra
Why is it Germany's, or Merkel's fault? And why is Europe supposed to help?

On the other hand , I don't know about the Russian investors, but we all know how Russia dealt with it's debt after the revolution.


The rest of the world did not disappear.

What will happen if Cyprus defaults? And actually who is defaulting, the banks , or the country? Why people who did not put their money there, will have to bail out people who did?

In "real world" it will be as if 2 peole give their money to a gambler. The gambler loses all the money in the casino, so he can't give them back to the 2 investors/creditors . And somehow the whole village has to collect money to give to the gambler , so he can return his creditors.

20:40 March 21, 2013 by raandy
Darra wow man, thats a lot of questions, how about next time you give us the answers?
14:12 March 22, 2013 by luckylongshot
The banksters must be laughing themselves silly. They set up a dominoe collapse of the Eurozone and the Cypriots , when it hits, blame another dominoe. What is clear here is that Germany is a victim of this crisis, just like Cyprus, although with longer to wait until the axe falls. And as for who is really to blame, their surname is Rothschild and they own the ECB.
16:06 March 22, 2013 by wethepeople2012
You are all fools! The point is-Perpetual Debt! It's as simple as having a beer tab andor a credit card...you can never pay it off but you are always paying. That's the way the banks want to enslave the world.
01:31 March 23, 2013 by cosmerk
I saw a baby possum near a busy road and tried to help it by picking it up and moving it to some nearby trees and safety. I didn't have to - I didn't succeed - and I got a bloody hand for my trouble.

So I think I know a little of how German Chancellor Angela Merkel feels.

To the greek with the inaccurate, insulting picture, give yourself an uppercut and fix your own bloody problems.
03:44 March 23, 2013 by Maurice45
The problem is, it seems, that the Eurozone meanwhile has not enough 'stable apples' left to prevent the rest from catching the rot as well.

Currently there are only three of the four eurozone countries left which were previously ranked as stable triple-A, leaving Finland the last nation to hold the gold-plated rating.

Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands, all three still ranked as triple-A, have all been cut to 'negative outlook' (by Moody's), indicating that there are strong fears that the three will eventually be drowned by the sinking eurozone countries as well . . . if they further extend their support to the ailing south.

Moody's justifying its 'negative outlook': "Those (three) triple A-rated euro area sovereigns whose balance sheets are expected to bear the main financial burden of support (southwards).

This is why the the situation in the Eurozone, with its strong interdependency, can't be compared with the UN ... and also not with the U.S. where the federal government has strong controlling and supervising powers, which Germany doesn't have with respect to the Eurozone.
05:47 March 23, 2013 by RosieRosebud
My suggestion to the world is to do to the banks what Iceland did.

We all know that bankers never step in to help us when we run into difficult times. No, they certainly do not. As a matter of fact they will kick our behinder out of our home and take the home away. We would be left to fend for ourselves.

My belief is that all the banks who decided to mismanage their money should be allowed to fail. However, the banking community should be required to pay all depositors the entire amount of money in their accounts.

It would create a mess, of course. However, I would venture a guess that the bankers would be unlikely to ever again play the types of games they have been playing.

I could just see the bankers Rothschilds dropping dead from strokes if they were required to cover costs of any and all banks associated with them that were insolvent. If this happened with all the nasty bankers across the world we could rid this planet of their nasty presence, perhaps once and for all.
10:13 March 23, 2013 by AlexR

"Cyprus has a very different banking system than the rest of the EU, almost 90% of its deposits are from foreign investors.This includes Russians long believed to be laundering their money there."

Wow! Three mistakes in only two sentences.

First, it's wrong that "almost 90% of its deposits are from foreign investors". A little less than 50% of its deposits are.

Second, Cyprus is not the only one that "has a very different banking system than the rest of the EU". There are some others too. The first example is a country in the center of EU and Eurozone: Luxembourg.

The Cypriot banking sector is 7 times the size of the island's economy, while the EU average is around 3.5 times GDP. However, Luxembourg has a banking sector 24 times the size of its economy. 24 times!

Also, the concerns about Luxembourg's banking secrecy laws, and its reputation as a tax haven, led in April 2009 to it being added to a 'grey list' of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20.

So why Merkel, Schäuble & co. claim that the Cypriot banking sector is totally disproportionate to the rest of the economy at 5 times its GDP, while next to them there is Luxembourg with 24 times its GDP? And why are continuing to turn a blind-eye to many activities that go on in Luxembourg and only focus to Cyprus?

Third, and as for the "Russians long believed to be laundering their money" in Cyprus, I guess that you haven't been in London in recent years. The real big money of the Russian oligarchs go to the City of London, Cyprus is only for the small fish.

Are Merkel, Schäuble & co. unaware that Russians send over $50 billion overseas every year and that much of these funds go to other eurozone members' banks such as those in Austria, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and even in Germany itself?

Of course they aren't unaware. So why again they only talk about Cyprus? The answer is relatively simple but since my 2000 characters limit is probably over, I can post it in another comment.
12:49 March 23, 2013 by amits123
I think that no institution in Europe or in the US should put the personal bank accounts of individuals at risk. But it is also true that lenders look for some form of guarantee so that their stakeholders or taxpayers be satisfied.

The debt crisis in the Eurozone is contagious and would go beyond the Southern Europe. The best way the Cyprus debt-problem can be dealt is by slowly replacing the Russian investors by Western European and American investors. As such Russians cannot bring too many viable products and technologies with them while the Westerners can bring.

The West should take long-term view of the situation and if the Cyprus is ready to sell its sea oil-fields then it should be the biggest bidder. The real problem in PIIGS and Cyprus is related to slow economic growth and rising unemployment. I think that Germans and Americans should invest in Eastern and Central Europe as well.

But nobody should make effort beyond a point to keep economic union in the EU as floating. The political union is sacred as it helps stabilized the Europe and beyond. But numbers of Eurozone members can be considered again. The best thing is that some flexibility on printing should be given to individual nation-states and the ECB can print on their behalf. If keeping the Euro intact is burden on few nations and keeping economic union intact is burden on others then the fate of Euro should be reconsidered. Ms. Merkel has done nothing wrong. It is but obvious that lenders would put some conditions.

Amit Srivastava, Lucknow, India
20:08 March 23, 2013 by Maurice45
@raandy asks: "So why Merkel, Schäuble & co. claim that the Cypriot banking sector is totally disproportionate to the rest of the economy at 5 times its GDP?"

For the simple reason that Cyprus' government asks the taxpayers of other EZ countries (especially Germany's taxpayers as they're only sizable triple-A economy in the eurozone left) to provide a bank-bailout in the ballpark of the total GDP (€18.27bn) of the country. The EZ countries generously offered €10bn, which is still 55% of Cyprus total GDP. In combination with an obviously insufficient banking supervision (the Bank of Cyprus is the sole supervisor) this is, by all means, a bank bailout record and a clear indication that the country's banking sector is way to big to be able to handle it on its own. This is what is rightly criticized by those who now have to pick up the bill for Cyprus' recklessness.

BTW, Mrs Merkel and Mr Schaeuble have to answer solely their taxpayers - not those in Cyprus or anywhere else. If I would be a German leader, I would suggest that Cyprus' banks file bankruptcy if their own country can't help them, and stop begging other countries' taxpayers to support the recklessness of irresponsible Cypriot banksters.
00:20 March 24, 2013 by dirving71
Dear Fellow EU Member States,

We, the government of (fill in any overspending EU state), would like to acknowledge that we recklessly overspent for the last decade and we will take the appropriate steps to get our fiscal economy in order. I may disagree with other members states on certain issues. However, overspending is an issue that no one can solve for us--we must do this ourselves. We must simply find a way to spend less in a way that does not harshly punish the people who had no hand in creating this crisis and without devaluing the Euro any further. Germany nor any other member state is responsible for creating the mess we are in. We can be trusted and no bailouts from the countries that acted responsibly will be necessary.

A nice statement but a dream that will never happen. Time for these EU countries who spent more money than they have and ran up dangerously high deficits to place the blame squarely where it belongs--themselves. These countries remind me of a guy who receives a credit card, goes out and maxes it out, blames the credit card company for letting him overspend, and then asks the credit card company for more credit so he does not have to feel the pain even if they have not given a solution on how to pay the debt they already ran up. Oh, the hypocrisy!
11:58 March 24, 2013 by notelove2
Cyprus should take a leaf out of Iceland's book and let the banks go down, and start again. get rid of those criminals
13:38 March 24, 2013 by koll
Germany is not responsible to save Cypriots` deposits while Cypriot Government does nothing (rejecting sale of the state properties).Cypriots try to copy their bigbrothers Greeks to abuse EU help.
20:19 March 24, 2013 by AlexR

First, I guess you were answering to me, not to @raandy, since you quoted a question I made.

Second, the only country in Europe with a stable triple-A rating is Finland. Last July, Moody's hit Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands with a stinging blow, cutting the outlook on their triple-A ratings from stable to negative.

Third, your comment doesn't answer my question you quoted. And I ask again: Why Merkel & co. claim that the Cypriot banking sector is totally disproportionate to the rest of the economy at 5 times its GDP, while Luxembourg's is 24 times its GDP, and Ireland's and Malta's is 8 times its GDP?

If Merkel & co. demand from Cyprus to cut its "disproportionate" banking sector, why they don't demand the same from Luxembourg which has five time more "disproportionate" banking sector? Do you sense any double standards here?

Is it maybe because Germany accounts for the largest-single grouping of banks in Luxembourg? If so, add to the double standards, the extreme hypocrisy as well.

Fourth, please ask yourself, when did you hear first about Cyprus and its crisis? Correct me if I'm wrong, but since the crisis started in 2008 and until recently, the German and the international media were only talking about the PIIGS. It was only about the PIIGS and always about the PIIGS, no one else, not Cyprus.

So how come, suddenly and very recently Cyprus became the number one issue of the Eurozone crisis? Didn't the highly paid eurocrats, bankers and european politicians, notice before that Cyprus had also problems. If they didn't, then some of them have to be fired. If they did but they didn't say anything since 2008, then it's even worse; all of them need to be fired.

Last, you seem to be aware that all that recent chaos with Cyprus is about 5 billion euro. Are you also aware that since 2008 Greece received 200+ billion, Ireland and Portugal 100+ billion each, and Spain and Italy 500+ each? I suppose that you are.

But you are probably not aware that at the same time, more than 400 European banks, received 2.5 trillion euros (that is, 2500 billion). That is because, our politicians and the media that make a huge noise about the 5 billion to Cyprus "forgot" to tell their taxpaypers about the the 2500 billion bailout money to the banks. Why?
07:53 March 26, 2013 by Dyderich
Amen Dirving71 !!! If only the rest of the countries in the EU would look at that statement and say: You know what? Yes, we screwed up and its OUR RESPONSIBILITY to fix OUR COUNTRY not Germany, not the EU.....but at the same time OUR PROBLEMS can effect the EU because of OUR PROBLEMS WE CAUSED. Now, mind you there may be overflow/issues across the board but I bet you that neither Germany was behind any of the overspending on these countries....

Do you see Merkel in whatever parliment area of whatever country going SPEND MORE CASH! USE IT UP! You can always screwm bloody murder for a bailout...Germany has DEEP POCKETS and will help you out....and please put pictures of Hitler look-a-like with Merkel's face because GERMANY does want to be the World Leader because nobody else is willing to step up and LEAD THEIR COUNTRY.

This crap just makes me sick...blame blame blame....hey look at yourselves in the mirror and then say to yourself: What did we do to cause this? How can we fix it OURSELF? If it is totally beyond us, we should look at staying out of groups like EU. As for the EU, they should have really thought over the issues with all these countries overspending their capital and just asking for handouts from their neighbors - if you cannot run your own country, well....Perhaps it is time for another country to step in, take over your country's leadership and put it back on track...and while we are at it, make it a sattelite state of the one fixing all your issues.

It is a simpler way to take over the world one country at a time but if people are unable, unwilling, uncaring or just plain too stupid to figure out: Spending More = Less Cash, then they are in the wrong position in the government.
15:22 March 26, 2013 by pete48
Extraordinary how Germany & Merkel is always used as the whipping boys. They're actually the UK's best allies in Europe (note how Merkel sided with Cameron against Hollande in the EU expenses debate) . The Germans could hardly be blamed for feeling schizophrenic when they just keep their heads down and be industrious, get called upon to bail all & sundry out and then get flack from upstart Greeks who lived the life of Reilly on an economy based upon questionable Russian money and then complain when the chickens come home to roost. In a democracy you get to elect a government and if that government decides to run its country using shady banking as the main source of economic activity then you are to blame as well. That's where the Cypriots are now, not to mention the fact that they, and expats, who used the shady banks must have known damned well that the honeymoon couldn't last.

These days, in respect of assets, they say that 'if you cant hold it you dont own it'. So in shaky economies, and maybe soon in the UK too, funds are better in property or gold coins! Really, the only unfairness in the EU solution to Cyprus is that if you had money in the bank you lose, where as if you had the same in goods you could hold onto, you lose nothing.
19:57 March 26, 2013 by jack_kerouac
Try and ask your neighbor to loan you a large sum of money without any terms or possibility of repayment - see how that works out.

I don't understand why Germany is being attacked so harshly - Germany is the only one willing to help them and bail them out from a mess they themselves created! Talk about biting the hand that feeds.

How about instead of protesting against Germany, they protest against their own government and demand answers from them? It is, after all, their fault.

To use an analogy:

This is like blaming the surgeon for amputating a leg to save your life after a criminal has shot you - why would you blame the surgeon's decision rather than the criminal's actions?
Today's headlines
Oktoberfest 2015
Oktoberfest crowds fall due to border controls
Revellers at this year's Oktoberfest. Photo: DPA

Oktoberfest crowds fall due to border controls

10 hours ago

Attendance slipped at the world's biggest beer party, the annual Oktoberfest in Germany, as border controls imposed to stem the flow of refugees complicated rail travel, organisers said on Sunday.

VW scandal
Merkel: VW scandal won't ruin Germany's image
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech to the Volkswagen works meeting at the Volkswagen parent plant in Wolfsburg. Photo: DPA

Merkel: VW scandal won't ruin Germany's image

12 hours ago

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said the emissions scandal that has hit car giant Volkswagen was "dramatic" but would not inflict lasting damage to Germany's reputation.

25 years of German Unity
Germany fetes unity with call for tolerance
German President Joachim Gauck makes a speech during the celebrations in Frankfurt of the country's 25th anniversary since the reunification of East and West Germany. Photo: DPA

Germany fetes unity with call for tolerance

1 day ago

Germany on Saturday celebrated 25 years since its joyful reunification, with its leaders urging the nation to muster the same strength and solidarity to face a record refugee influx.

VW scandal
VW offers webpage to check on pollution scam
The VW brand has been tarnished by the scandal. Photo: DPA

VW offers webpage to check on pollution scam

1 day ago

Scandal-hit Volkswagen on Friday opened a webpage for customers to check if their diesel vehicle is fitted with a device aimed at cheating pollution tests.

Daimler trials self-driving truck in Germany
The self-driving truck in action on Friday. Photo: DPA

Daimler trials self-driving truck in Germany

1 day ago

German automaker Daimler said it trialled a self-driving truck under real traffic conditions for the first time on Friday, on a motorway in southern Germany.

Suspense mounts over Nazi gold train in Poland
The Ksiaz castle under which the "Nazi gold train" is supposedly hidden underground in Walbrzych, Poland. Photo: Janek Skarzynski/AFP

Suspense mounts over Nazi gold train in Poland

1 day ago

The mystery surrounding a fabled Nazi gold train allegedly buried in southwestern Poland intensified Friday after a week of tests by an army unit including a bomb squad appeared to have produced no clues.

Pegida founder faces hate speech charges

Pegida founder faces hate speech charges

2 days ago

Lutz Bachmann, founder of Pegida ("Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West") has been charged by state prosecutors in Dresden with incitement to racial hatred.

Gay top marksman 'must name female Queen'
A marksman checks his sights at the Historic German Shooting Federation. Photo: DPA

Gay top marksman 'must name female Queen'

2 days ago

A gay man is being blocked from collecting his title as King of the Marksmen in Düsseldorf because he plans on collecting the prize with his husband.

Dortmund fans 'cross the line' in Thessaloniki
Police clash with fans during the UEFA Europe League group C match on October 1st. Photo: DPA

Dortmund fans 'cross the line' in Thessaloniki

2 days ago

Borussia Dortmund (BVB) will face hefty fines from UEFA after fans lit flares and caused havoc during Thursday night's Europa League face-off with Greek club PAOK Salonika.

25 years of German Unity
What if Germany had never been reunited?
Monument to German unity. Photo: DPA

What if Germany had never been reunited?

3 days ago

German reunification has been an expensive 25-year project that hasn't always gone according to plan. Jörg Luyken asks if things would have been better if the two states never united.

UK Ambassador wants more young Brits in Germany
How Snoop Dogg dissed Munich hip hop scene
More wind power generated so far in 2015 than all of 2014
Rent a nuclear bunker near Berlin for just €3,000 a month
German universities leap up world elite rankings
Business & Money
What to do if you own a cheating Volkswagen
Homeland star's fave Berlin spot is Berghain
Why Dresden Buddhists won't be using the swastika symbol
Mystery of 'murdered' student found alive after 31 years
What wearable technology might look like in the future
Why vegetarian food is more German than a Bratwurst
The very best of traditional German vegetarian food
The secret to more travel for less
The first glimpse of Neptune - from an observatory in Berlin
How VW was rebuilt from nothing... by an English army officer
Our favourite songs about Germany by foreigners
Expats' loves and hates about Germany
Court thinks Sphynx cats are too weird to be allowed to breed
Business & Money
What do cars mean to the Germans?
Business & Money
Court orders Lindt chocolate and Haribo gummy bears to make peace
Coming back to Berlin after years as a hostage in Somalia
Woman 'was complicit in 200,000 deaths at Auschwitz'
New record for fastest-ever five goals from a substitute