German players (L-R) Sandro Wagner, Sebastian Rudy and Joshua Kimmich in training prior to their Confederations Cup opener. Photo: DPA World champions Germany will pit an inexperienced line-up against Australia in their Confederations Cup opener on Monday with striker Timo Werner anticipating a robust challenge from the Socceroos. With an average age of just 24 years, four months, and a combined total of 179 international appearances, Germany have the most youthful squad of the eight Confed Cup teams. Only three of the squad -- Shkodran Mustafi, Matthias Ginter and Julian Draxler -- lifted the World Cup in Brazil three years ago, but none of the trio played in the Rio de Janeiro final. With the likes of Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng all left at home, Joshua Kimmich is the only Bayern Munich star in the Germany squad. On the back of his breakthrough season with RB Leipzig, striker Timo Werner, 21, expects a fiery start in Sochi for the … [Read more...] about Football: Green Germany expect tough Confed Cup start
Africa has, of course, not made it on to any German campaign posters. The most important topics for German voters are, after all, the national issues like social justice, security and fair wages. The African continent has, however, become something that German parties can no longer ignore. "If you look at the manifestos, each party has one or the other passage about Africa," said Bernd Bornhorst from the developmental umbrella organization VENRO. That's no surprise. The high numbers of refugees have given rise to more discussions about Africa than ever. Chancellor Angela Merkel made Africa a focal topic for the German G20 presidencyand three German ministers put forward new development approaches. And while critics lament that Germany's G20 efforts have made little difference, aside from the creation of new investment partnerships with five African countries, Merkel's Christian Democrat (CDU) party is determined to maintain this course. The Compact with Africa program is … [Read more...] about German elections: What’s in them for Africa?
German daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ) on Tuesday itemized shell corporations and suspects implicated by 100 media groups in a global leak of Panama law office documents, saying Germans invested a "hell of a lot of money" in offshore firms. The Panama-based legal consultancy, Mossack Fonseca (Mossfon), hit back overnight, saying it had set up offshore firms for clients for a "variety of legitimate reasons" and had never been charged for criminal wrongdoing. Western nations, including Sweden, Australia and France, said they were looking into the allegations stemming from the so-called "Panama Paper" leaks of 11 million documents listing 214,000 offshore firms, including personalities in Russia and China. Le Monde newspaper claimed Tuesday that aides to French far-right leader Marine Le Pen had put in place a "sophisticated offshore system" to avoid official scrutiny. In Iceland, Prime Minister David Gunnlaugsson is facing calls to resign. Transparency register needed, says … [Read more...] about German banks, individuals feature in ‘Panama Papers’
At the G8 summit at the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm this past June, German Chancellor Angela Merkel put measures for reducing CO2 emissions at the top of the agenda. The heads of government of the largest industrialized countries agreed to reduce their CO2 emissions to help fight global warming, but for many people in society, that is not enough. Many Germans, too, think they should be taking action in their own daily lives and since the beginning of this year, more than three million of them have changed their electricity provider. The four big energy companies RWE, Vattenfall, EN-BW and E-On are the biggest losers in this development. Customers are neither happy with their prices, nor with the source of energy these companies use. Going green German Chancellor Angela Merkel had climate change on her agenda as EU president Since the liberalization of the German energy sector in 1998, the Green party has encouraged people to switch to more ecologically oriented … [Read more...] about More German Consumers Switching to Green Power
When the British Green Party unveiled its manifesto in London this week ahead of the UK's general election on June 8, it did so with a somewhat defensive tone. Caroline Lucas, the party's co-leader and only elected MP, acknowledged there were similarities between the "Green Guarantee" she was unveiling and the manifesto presented by UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a week earlier. The UK center-left party "has very clearly been looking at our 2015 general election manifesto," she said. Lucas had reason to be frustrated. According to polls, the Greens are on course to fall short of their performance in the last election in 2015, when the party scored nearly 4 percent of the vote and got its first seat in the British Parliament. It is a trend seen across Europe, where Green parties are struggling to attract voters ahead of pivotal elections coming up in the UK, France, Germany and Austria. At a time when voters are deserting established centrist parties … [Read more...] about As mainstream parties flounder, why aren’t the Greens cashing in?
The anti-establishment frustration that swept Donald Trump to power in the United States and led the UK to vote for Brexit exists in Germany, but in a much more moderate form, which will not ultimately be the deciding factor in the national elections in September. That's the central conclusion of a Bertelsmann Foundation study of "populism" among people eligible to vote in the upcoming federal elections. The researchers defined populism as hostility to the establishment, the belief that "the people" are basically a homogeneous group and the view that political leadership should be the direct expression of popular will. The study found that 29.2 percent of potential voters were thoroughly populist, 33.9 percent were somewhat populist and 36.9 percent were not populist at all. Read more: Does social media help promote populism? Although a slight majority of Germans were frustrated with the way democracy works in practice, there was overwhelming support even among hard-core … [Read more...] about Donald Trump-style populism has no chance in German election
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) / Christian Social Union (CSU) Color: Black Chairpeople: Angela Merkel(CDU), Horst Seehofer (CSU) Parliamentary leader: Volker Kauder (CDU) Membership: 575,000 Voters: People over the age of 60, churchgoers, living in rural areas - especially in southern Germany - still represent the hardcore of CDU and CSU voters. The CDU has also traditionally done well among small business owners and people with lower or medium education levels. 2017 Bundestag election result: 33 percent (246/709 seats) History: The CDU was founded in West Germany in 1950 in the aftermath of World War II as a gathering pool for all of Germany's Christian conservative voters. It became the most dominant political force in the post-war era, unifying Germany and leading the government for 47 of those 67 years, alongside its Bavaria sister-party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). CDU Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who governed from 1949 to … [Read more...] about Germany’s political parties CDU, CSU, SPD, AfD, FDP, Left party, Greens – what you need to know
Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday approved draft legislation that would foresee major fines for social media companies like Facebook and Twitter if they fail to delete hate speech, libel or other content in breach of German laws. Given the grand coalition government's monster majority in the lower house of parliament, approval there should be a formality. Ahead of Wednesday's decisive cabinet meeting to tackle internet hate speech, Justice Minister Heiko Maas reiterated his warning that online companies failing to delete criminal content themselves could face financial punishments of up to 50 million euros ($53 million). Social networks would have 24 hours to delete or block obviously criminal content and seven days to deal with more ambiguous cases. They would be obliged to report back to the person who filed the complaint about how they handled the case. Failure to comply could lead to fines up to 50 million euros for the company and 5 million euros for the … [Read more...] about German justice minister calls for hefty fines to combat online hate speech
"We're quick to respond," Özcan Mutlu said. The Greens Party Bundestag member is campaigning for re-election. His team quickly creates and posts images and gifs across his social media channels. Mutlu is no internet newbie. His supporters expect him to keep on top of his core campaign issues as they appear online. Others, though, react less kindly to him. Read more: Hate speech curb should look beyond Facebook, Twitter Threats from all sides As a German with Turkish roots, he is confronted by both neo-Nazis and Turkish nationalists - not only hate-filled commentary, but also death threats. Send him "to the gas chamber," one message said. "I always report these offenses," he said. So far, however, that reporting has had little effect. The state attorney has looked into more than 40 instances of online abuse and nearly all are covered by freedom of expression. Mutlu is angry. In some cases, offenders have been summoned by police, he said, only to apologize to him for their … [Read more...] about German politicians fend off online hate and threats
Shortly before the first session of the new Bundestag - the lower house of the German parliament - on Tuesday, the UN refugee agency's Germany branch has urged the newly elected members of the Bundestag to provide the right to family reunions after March of next year to asylum seekers who only have subsidiary protection. "Successful integration is often based on the family's emotional, social and economic support," the UNHCR said in a statement on Sunday. Reunifications have proven to be a highly contentious topic in exploratory coalition talks between the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FPD) and the Greens. Merkel's conservatives want to continue suspending the right to family reunions for asylum-seekers entitled to subsidiary protection after March 2018, while the Greens, who back a more liberal immigration approach, say that family reunifications are vital for integration. The FDP appears split on … [Read more...] about UN praises German refugee policy, urges improvements