Photo Gallery Coal Mining in Germany on the Way Out

The German government had intended to continue subsidizing the country's coal mines until at least 2018. Now, however, the European Union has called for subsidies to be cut by 2014. Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to get the decision reversed, but her chances for success are not good.
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German coal mines are heavily subsidized by the government in Berlin. But those subsidies are soon to run out. The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel would like to keep them alive until at least 2018, but the European Commission has mandated an end to coal subsidies by 2014. Here, miners in the Ensdorf mine

Foto: dapd
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Now, Berlin is trying to get the European Commission to change its mind. That, though, is not likely to be easy.

Foto: A3778 Fredrik von Erichsen/ dpa
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In its effort to extend coal mining subsidies, Germany can only count on the support of Spain and Romania.

Foto: dapd
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Here, a worker at a mine in Germany's Ruhr region measures the temperature inside a pile of freshly-mined coal. In her fight to extend coal subsidies, Merkel can't even count on the support of her economics minister, Rainer Brüderle.

Foto: dapd
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Here, Chancellor Angela Merkel with Economics Minister Brüderle. Brüderle, as a senior member of the free-market Free Democrats, is opposed to an extension of coal subsidies. And has said as much to Merkel.

Foto: ? Tobias Schwarz / Reuters/ REUTERS
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The European Commission decision to cut coal subsidies by 2014 took German coal miners by surprise. Here, miners in the Ruhr region protest the commission decision in September.

Foto: Bernd Thissen/ picture alliance / dpa
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Coal mining has a long history in Germany, though most black coal mines in the country have long since been shut down. Here, three coal miners relax after their shifts in the Ruhr region in 1947.

Foto: Fred Ramage/ Getty Images
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European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has indicated that he has no intention to revisit the decision to cut coal mining subsidies by 2014.

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Given the conflict between Merkel and her economics minister, the government in Berlin could be facing yet another internal mudslinging match.

Foto: ddp