The World from Berlin Merkel Spends while Demanding Euro-Zone Austerity

Chancellor Merkel has been fond of mandating austerity programs in the euro zone. Back home, however, her government just pushed through a number of programs that could make it difficult to balance the German budget by 2014. Commentators say they are nothing more than a gift to voters ahead of elections next year.
Merkel met with government leaders in Berlin on Sunday night.

Merkel met with government leaders in Berlin on Sunday night.

Jörg Carstensen/ dpa
-- Charles Hawley