Angela Merkel

Regional News • Europe • Germany
The German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive for Covid-19
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Jens Spahn, the German Health Minister, tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into immediate isolation.

The healthy ministry confirmed all those in close contact with Spahn had been informed.

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet, that have met Spahn earlier on Wednesday, will not be self-isolating.

According to a government spokesperson: "The Federal Cabinet meets in compliance with hygiene and distance rules, which aim to ensure that even if a person who later tests positive were to participate, quarantining of other or even all participants would not be necessary."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Friedrich Merz 'regrets' controversial gay chancellor remarks
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

German politician Friedrich Merz says he now "regrets" comments made when asked whether he would have reservations if an LGBT+ chancellor were to lead Germany.

During a video interview for the Bild newspaper, Merz replied to the question with: "No. Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

Merz is the leading candidate for the position of chair of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Whoever is selected for the role would likely become the party's candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Merz' answer sparked an outcry from German politicians, especially as one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, is openly gay.

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

Regional News • World
Merkel pleads for expanded UN Security Council

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) invoked its unity and willingness to reform. "In the end, the United Nations can only be as good as its members are united," Merkel said in a video message on Monday evening in New York for the UN anniversary ceremony.

She stated that the UN must continue to develop in order to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German opposition pressures Merkel to end Nord Stream 2 support after Navalny poisoning
German opposition pressures Merkel to end Nord Stream 2 support after Navalny poisoning
Credit: Russian Presidential Executive Office (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The German Green party is urging Angela Merkel to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to press the Kremlin over the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, the Green's co-chair, said: "This openly attempted murder through the Kremlin’s mafia-like structures should not just worry us but needs to have real consequences."

At her annual Summer press conference, Angela Merkel stated, "Our opinion is that Nord Stream 2 should be completed ... I don't think it is appropriate to link this business-operated project with the Navalny question."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Merkel condemns 'shameful' Covid-19 parliament protest
Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel Credit: Philipp (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Monday, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned as "shameful" an attempt by protesters angry at Covid-19 restrictions to storm parliament, saying they had abused the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Several hundred people tried to get into the Reichstag building during a rally against coronavirus rules in Berlin on Saturday.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Merkel warns Amazon deforestation threatens EU-Mercosur deal
Angela Merkel meets Emmanuel Macron
Angela Merkel meets Emmanuel Macron Credit: Bundeskanzlerin (Public Domain)

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated she has "considerable doubts" about backing the EU-Mercorsur deal due to environmental concerns. The chancellor met Thursday climate campaigners in Berlin.

Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the German government, told reports that "Serious questions have arisen due to the ongoing environmental concerns "as to whether the implementation of the agreement in the intended spirit would be guaranteed at present."

The trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur states of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, would create the world's largest free-trade zone.

Climate & Environment
Climate activists state that "We don't have leaders who are treating this crisis as a crisis" after meeting Angela Merkel

The climate activists Greta Thunberg from Sweden, Anuna de Wever and Adélaïde Charliér from Belgium and Lisa Neubauer from Germany have met the German chancellor Angela Merkel for a 90-minute conversation.

According to Neubauer, they talked about international politics, CO2 pricing and trade agreements. She stated that "it became very clear that we are looking at the issue from different perspectives" and Thunberg said that "we have discussed some demands, but it is complicated".

De Wever stated that during the conversation there main request had been that "what we want are leaders" as "we don't have leaders who are treating this crisis as a crisis".

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russian opposition leader Nawalny to be treated in Germany
Russian opposition leader Nawalny to be treated in Germany
Credit: Evgeny Feldman / Novaya Gazeta (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The German chancellor Angela Merkel has offered to treat Nawalny in a German hospital. According to his spokeswoman, he has been poisoned. Activists now want to have him flown out to Berlin for treatment as he is currently in a coma.

The Charité in Berlin has promised to treat Nawalny, and currently, the necessary flight permits are still being obtained. Nawalny is to be brought from Omsk, where he is in hospital, by a plane chartered in Germany. Earlier, the newspaper "Bild" had reported on the plans.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
The German government denies recent call between Merkel-Lukashenko happened
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko Credit: Serge Serebro, Vitebsk Popular News (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reuters report that a spokesman for the German government denied that any phone call had taken place between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko since the August 9 election.

Earlier Monday Interfax news agency reported Alexander Lukashenko said he received a phone call on Sunday from the German Chancellor.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany nominates finance minister as chancellor candidate to try to succeed Merkel after 2021 elections
Social Democratic Party of Germany nominates finance minister as chancellor candidate to try to succeed Merkel after 2021 elections
Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has announced that Olaf Scholz, currently finance minister in the cabinet under Angela Merkel, will headline the election efforts of his party with the goal of becoming chancellor after the general elections in 2021.

Angela Merkel has previously announced that the current term will be her last one. The SPD is the first party to nominate their front-runner for the elections.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Merkel: Approval of EU Covid-19 recovery fund this week unclear
Merkel: Approval of EU Covid-19 recovery fund this week unclear
Credit: FinnishGovernment / © Bernhard Ludewig / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel it is unclear if the European Union will manage to agree on a multi-year budget and a recovery fund for the economic consequences from Covid-19 during this week.

She stated that "What we want now, the recovery fund or the next generation EU program, it has to be staggering, something special. Because the task at hand is huge, and therefore the answer has to be big as well".

Regional News • World
Angela Merkel criticizes world leaders that promote "lies and disinformation"
U.S. President Donald J. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
U.S. President Donald J. Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

The German chancellor Angela Merkel of the conservative party CDU has stated that the limits of "fact-denying populism" by world leaders have been exposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Merkel added that these leaders promote "lies and disinformation" and said that "We are seeing at the moment that the pandemic can't be fought with lies and disinformation, and neither can it be with hatred and agitation".

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany to reduce VAT as part of stimulus package
Angela Merkel in 2019
Angela Merkel in 2019 Credit: Raimond Spekking (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s agreed on Friday to cut VAT from 19% to 16% for all goods from July 1 until December 31 and give parents a cash handout of €300 per child as part of its €130 billion stimulus package.

Affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Germany's economy is expected to shrink by 6.3% this year, its worst recession since World War Two.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump postpones G7 summit and plans to invite other countries

President Donald Trump said Saturday he would postpone the G7 summit scheduled to take place in June. Trump also said he would like to invite Australia, India, Russia and South Korea.

"I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world. It's a very outdated group of countries," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not attend a June G7 summit in person.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Chancellor Merkel rejects invite to G7 summit
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump at a joint press conference in the White House
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump at a joint press conference in the White House Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

According to a report from Politico the German chancellor Angela Merkel will not travel to the United States to attend a G7 summit in person, as US President Donald Trump has invited to an in person meeting. The spokesperson of the German government Steffen Seibert has said that "As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington".

Sports • Soccer
Bundesliga to resume season on May 15th
Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Bundesliga will resume on May 15, the German Football League (DFL) announced today, becoming the first major football league to resume playing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Germany's top politicians approved a plan for the Bundesliga to resume in stadiums without spectators and with players regularly tested.

"Matches will be allowed under the approved rules," said Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin.

"After weighing up all the arguments, the DFL Executive Committee decided today... to resume play in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga from 15 May 2020," the DFL said in a statement to magazine Kicker.

Technology • Internet & Web
Germany backs Google and Apple app to trace coronavirus infections

Germany changed course over which type of smartphone technology to use to trace coronavirus infections, backing an approach supported by Apple and Google instead of an initiative called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT).

Health Minister Jens Spahn and Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the German Government now favors a "decentralized software architecture" that would see data stored on users' phones instead of on a central database.

The Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) has Germany's Fraunhofer HHI research institute and the Robert Koch Institute public health body as key players.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Poll: German government at 72% approval for their crisis management

With the country having movement restrictions and social distancing measures in place, and 51% of the German citizens fearing that they or their relatives could contract the coronavirus, around 72% of people responded in a survey that they are satisfied with the work of the government.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Chancelor Angela Merkel tested negative for Coronavirus

The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany announced on Monday that Merkel's first Coronavirus results came back negative. According to Steffen Seibert, the Government spokesman of Germany, further tests would follow in the coming days. Merkel, who has been in quarantine since Sunday, is currently governing remotely from her own home.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Angela Merkel went into self-quarantine

After getting a vaccination on March 20th, the doctor that gave the German Chancellor Angela Merkel the vaccination got tested positive for the coronavirus. As a consequence the German Chancellor went into self-quarantine.