Tag Archives: Central / Eastern Europe

Germany’s senior conservatives will discuss the choice of a candidate for chancellor | Instant News

BERLIN, April 11 (Reuters) – The two contenders vying for chancellor in Germany’s ruling conservative coalition in September elections will meet leading members of parliament on Sunday as pressure grows for decisions on who should run.

Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) leader, fell behind Markus Soeder, chairman of her Bavarian twin party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), in opinion polls but enjoys the support of some of the country’s powerful prime ministers.

Usually the leaders of the two parties, who make up the parliamentary bloc, decide who will run, but several lawmakers are demanding to vote this time.

The outcome of Sunday’s talks, which are also expected to cover other issues, is unclear. Although participants can decide who will run for themselves, they can also agree on a process or schedule for selecting candidates.

Laschet, 60, a centrist widely seen as a candidate for Merkel’s continuity but who has clashed with him over coronavirus restrictions, has made it clear he wants a candidacy.

Soeder, 54, an astute political operator who has sided with Merkel during the pandemic, has not officially said he wants the role, saying his place is in Bavaria. No CSU leader has ever been chancellor of Germany.

Many conservatives are nervous about competing in the September 26 election without Merkel, which has led them to four wins. He has ruled out running for a fifth term and has not said which of the two candidates he wants.

The conservative bloc has slumped to around 27% in polls, partly due to increasingly chaotic management of the pandemic. In the 2017 election, he won nearly 33%.

Laschet and Soeder said a decision would be reached by the end of May, but many conservatives wanted to end the uncertainty before that.

Volker Bouffier, Hessen state premier, called for a decision next week, while Ralph Brinkhaus, chairman of the parliamentary party, gave them two weeks.

“I attach great importance to this happening immediately. There is no deadlock until Pentecost, “Brinkhaus told the Funke media group.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has been nominated as chancellor by the Social Democrats, while the Greens plan to announce their candidate on April 19.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Edited by Mike Harrison


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The Swiss watchdog asked Credit Suisse about the risk of Greensill -SonntagsZeitung | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Swiss bank Credit Suisse logo seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland March 24, 2021. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann // Photo File / Photo File

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss chief financial regulator FINMA questioned Credit Suisse over the risks involved with now-bankrupt financial firm Greensill Capital “months” before the bank was forced to close $ 10 billion in funds such as for Greensill, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday.

Alongside formal discussions at a technical level between the bank and FINMA, chief supervisor Mark Branson privately discussed the risks with Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner and Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein who walked out during a meeting on an undetermined date, the newspaper reported, citing information in his possession. . obtained.

FINMA declined to comment. Credit Suisse also declined to comment.

Switzerland’s second largest bank has staggered from its exposure to the collapse first of Greensill Capital and then Archegos Capital Management within a month.

Credit Suisse’s asset management unit was forced last month to close $ 10 billion in supply chain financial funds invested in bonds issued by Greensill after the British company lost credit insurance coverage shortly before filing for bankruptcy. The bank has suspended the fund manager and replaced the head of its asset management unit.

The massive loss to US investment fund Archegos this month also prompted Credit Suisse to replace its head of investment and compliance and risk banking after saying it would book first-quarter expenses of $ 4.7 billion from its exposure to affected companies.

Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Edited by Rachel Armstrong and Susan Fenton


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The German economy minister aims to provide assistance to businesses affected by COVID | Instant News

BERLIN, April 9 (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier says he aims to provide assistance through the end of the year for businesses hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Talks about extending six months of aid to help cover fixed business costs are ongoing, Altmaier said on Friday, adding he is looking forward to a decision before the parliament’s summer vacation.

A third wave of coronavirus infections linked to more infectious variants and slow vaccination launches are complicating efforts to ease months of lockdown measures in Europe’s largest economy.

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz last month pledged to do whatever is necessary to allow Germany to emerge from the economic slump caused by the coronavirus, as the government supports an additional budget that would lift new loans to record highs.

Reporting by Christian Krämer; Written by Maria Sheahan Editing by Caroline Copley


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Germany’s Scholz calls for a national approach to fighting COVID-19 | Instant News

BERLIN, April 9 (Reuters) – Germany should expand its infection protection laws to allow for a unified national approach to fighting COVID-19 across the country, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday.

Scholz, who is also the vice-chancellor, noted that curfew rules vary between states in Germany, adding: “It makes sense to set this uniformly for all of Germany, because then there will be clarity and transparency”.

“In this sense, it is a necessary and tangible step forward if we expand the infection (protection) laws to include the regulations for these cases appropriately.”

Reporting by Paul Carrel Editing by Caroline Copley


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Hungary questions Germany’s rule of law commitment on LGBT lines | Instant News

* The German football club has sacked the Hungarian coach for anti-LGBT comments

* Hungary: Punishing opinion reminds us of the ‘totalitarian’ Germany

* Germany has criticized the anti-democracy movement in Hungary

BUDAPEST / BERLIN, April 8 (Reuters) – A top aide to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban questioned Germany’s democratic standards on Thursday after a German football club fired a Hungarian coach for expressing anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT views.

“Expressing your opinion is not punishable under the rule of law,” Orban chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told a news conference. “I think this is outrageous, Germany, above all, must answer whether it still upholds the rule of law.”

He spoke against the backdrop of tensions between the nationalist Orban and members of the western European Union including Germany over what they see as an anti-democracy movement in Hungary under his rule, an accusation his government denies.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Germany’s business attorney to express “shock” at the sacking of Bundesliga football club Hertha BSC Berlin goalkeeping coach, Zsolt Petry, a Hungarian, on Tuesday.

Gulyas said Petry’s dismissal reminded him of Nazi Germany. “One totalitarian regime started in Germany in the 20th century. We don’t want to see anything else on the 21st, “Gulyas said in a statement.

The German government did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

Orban’s right-wing government has been anti-immigration, has excluded same-sex marriage from Hungary’s constitution, limited gay adoption and legal recognition of transgender people, and has often portrayed homosexuality as an aberration.

Gulyas also said the German parliament had passed a law allowing same-sex marriage despite the Constitutional Court’s conflicting opinions, calling the move “highly unusual in a country that respects the rule of law”.

While German court jurisprudence once ruled out same-sex marriage, analysts say it has stepped down from that position in a series of rulings since 2009. No constitutional challenge has ever been raised against the 2017 parliamentary vote approving same-sex marriage.

Hungary and its populist nationalist ally Poland have been criticized for years for an alleged retreat from the EU’s democratic standards, in part by asserting control over the media, courts and academics, and campaigning against gay rights.

Petry was sacked by Hertha on Tuesday after he criticized Peter Gulacsi, the star goalkeeper for Bundesliga rivals Red Bull Leipzig, in a statement published by pro-Orban daily Magyar Nemzet.

“I don’t know what made Peter defend the people (LBGT),” Petry told the Budapest newspaper. “If I were him, I definitely wouldn’t have aroused such emotions.”

He also criticized European immigration policies, saying “criminals have flooded into Europe”.

Gulacsi protested Petry’s comments on a Facebook post. “Everyone has the right to equal treatment,” Gulacsi wrote. “I support the rainbow family. Let’s speak up against hatred, let’s be more accepting and open. “

Hertha BSC CEO Carsten Schmidt said Petry had been fired after a six-year term because his statements did not “fit the values” of the football club.

Hertha did not immediately comment on Gulyas’ remarks. (Additional reporting by Anita Komuves in Budapest Editing by Mark Heinrich)


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