Six-Point Growth Plan: Berlin Proposes European Special Economic Zones

Six-Point Growth Plan: Berlin Proposes European Special Economic Zones

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 25, 2012

With Europe beginning to look for alternatives to its exclusive focus on austerity, the German government has developed a six-point plan to foster economic growth in Europe, SPIEGEL has learned. Included in the proposal is the creation of special economic zones in struggling euro-zone countries. more... Comment ]

Illegal Immigrants in Greece: At the Mercy of the People Smugglers

Illegal Immigrants in Greece: At the Mercy of the People Smugglers

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 24, 2012

Many of the illegal immigrants in the EU arrive via Greece, which is overwhelmed by the flood of incomers. The would-be migrants are ruthlessly exploited by people smugglers, and many of them die in the attempt to get to Europe. SPIEGEL heard the stories of a group of young Bangladeshi men who made it to Athens -- and discovered the reality behind the dream. By Andreas Ulrich in Nea Vyssa, Greece more... Comment ]

Greece and the Common Currency: Euro Zone Developing Grexit Contingency Plan

Greece and the Common Currency: Euro Zone Developing Grexit Contingency Plan

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 24, 2012

With Greeks heading to the polls once again in June, finance ministries in euro-zone member states are preparing for the worst. Several media outlets are reporting that contingency plans are being developed to prepare for a Greek exit from the common currency zone. more...

France Dominates EU Summit: Hollande Steals the Show from Merkel

France Dominates EU Summit: Hollande Steals the Show from Merkel

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 24, 2012

French President François Hollande managed to set the tone at his first EU summit with his proposal for euro bonds. It was the first such meeting in years that was not dominated by Chancellor Merkel. Hollande wanted to send the message that France will be more assertive in the future. By Carsten Volkery in Brussels more... Comment ]

Paul Krugman on Euro Rescue Efforts: 'Right Now, We Need Expansion'

Paul Krugman on Euro Rescue Efforts: 'Right Now, We Need Expansion'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 23, 2012

In a SPIEGEL interview, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman argues that this is not the time to worry about debt and inflation. To save the euro zone, he argues that the European Central Bank should loosen monetary policy and the German government should abandon austerity. more... Comment ]

Free Money: German Central Bank Issues Zero-Rate Bonds

Free Money: German Central Bank Issues Zero-Rate Bonds

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 23, 2012

For the first time in history, Germany issued long term bonds with a zero percent coupon rate on Wednesday. The demand reveals the deep concerns investors have about the euro zone and their desire for a safe place to park their capital -- even if it costs them money to do so.  more...

Visit to Germany: Tsipras Says Berlin Must Back Down on Austerity

Visit to Germany: Tsipras Says Berlin Must Back Down on Austerity

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 22, 2012

Charismatic, eloquent and defiant, the leader of Greece's Radical Left party, Alexis Tsipras, visited Berlin on Tuesday to ram home the message that he will scrap austerity if he wins the June election, and that no one, not even mighty Germany, has the right to evict Greece from the currency. By David Crossland more...

Sarrazin Strikes Again: German Author Says Berlin Is Hostage to Holocaust in Euro Crisis

Sarrazin Strikes Again: German Author Says Berlin Is Hostage to Holocaust in Euro Crisis

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 22, 2012

Germany is Europe's paymaster because it committed the Holocaust, claims a new book by Thilo Sarrazin, a firebrand author and former board member of the German central bank. The claim by the controversial writer achieved the desired effect of stoking publicity for Tuesday's launch of 'Europe Doesn't Need the Euro.' more...

Political Chaos Deters Tourists: Greece Holiday Bookings Plunge Due to Turmoil

Political Chaos Deters Tourists: Greece Holiday Bookings Plunge Due to Turmoil

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

Greece's tourism industry, crucial to its ailing economy, has been hit hard by the political turmoil following the May 6 election and growing speculation of a Greek euro exit, tourism experts say. One industry leader reports bookings have been down 50 percent since the vote. more...

'Sick Conditions': Why Greeks Will Vote for Tsipras

'Sick Conditions': Why Greeks Will Vote for Tsipras

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

Greeks have spurned the politicians who represent the country's broken system, and many are now following rising star Alexis Tsipras. The radical left-wing politician has pledged to free Greece from painful austerity measures while keeping the euro, but no one knows how he plans to fulfill his promises. By Julia Amalia Heyer more... Comment ]

Mounting Risks: ECB Increasingly Concerned Over Aid to Greek Banks

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

The European Central Bank is keeping Greek banks afloat with emergency assistance even though urgently needed banking reforms have been put on hold in the election campaigns. As Greeks withdraw money from the banks amid fears of a euro exit, the ECB's own risk exposure is mounting. By Anne Seith more... Comment ]

The World from Berlin: 'Hollande Is Provoking Merkel to the Utmost'

The World from Berlin: 'Hollande Is Provoking Merkel to the Utmost'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

French President François Hollande has reignited the debate over euro bonds ahead of this week's informal EU summit. Germany has repeated its opposition to jointly issued debt. German commentators are divided over the merits of euro bonds, but agree that Chancellor Merkel will have to make concessions. more... Comment ]

An Ultimatum for Greece: Europe Raises Threat Level against Athens

An Ultimatum for Greece: Europe Raises Threat Level against Athens

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

Officially, euro zone governments say they're not talking about a Greek exit from the euro zone. But it's a different story behind closed doors. Finance ministers meeting in Brussels last Monday threatened to evict Greece, SPIEGEL has learned. Meanwhile, Germany denied reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel called for Greece to hold a referendum on the euro. more...

Doubts in Brussels and Berlin: Schäuble's Plan to Head Euro Group In Question

Doubts in Brussels and Berlin: Schäuble's Plan to Head Euro Group In Question

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble wants to become the head of the Euro Group, but this prospect is being met with ample skepticism. In Berlin he is seen as too European, while in Brussels he is considered too German. Critics say taking on the second job would cause a conflict of interest. By Andreas Macho, Christian Reiermann and Christoph Schult more...

EU Summit on Wednesday: Hollande To Confront Merkel on Euro Bonds

EU Summit on Wednesday: Hollande To Confront Merkel on Euro Bonds

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

French President François Hollande will put German Chancellor Angela Merkel under pressure at Wednesday's EU summit to agree to euro bonds, which she has so far strictly opposed. Italy and Britain are expected to back Hollande in a further sign that Merkel is increasingly isolated in Europe with her austerity plan for saving the euro. more...

Nick Clegg on the EU: 'We Are Condemned to Work with Each Other'

Nick Clegg on the EU: 'We Are Condemned to Work with Each Other'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 21, 2012

In a SPIEGEL interview, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg argues that the European Union has to stand together to fight the crisis. The euro zone needs a clear vision for its future, he argues, otherwise Europe will see a new wave of nationalism and xenophobia. more... Comment ]