#UPDATE GERMANY: ‘ Government agree one-off payment of $4.6-billion for 16 of their states to help #refugees – Sources ‘

#AceNewsReport – Sept.24: The German government has agreed to make a one-off payment of €4.1 billion ($4.6 billion) next year, to help its 16 regional states cope with a record influx of refugees, Reuters reports, citing a source from one of states.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was meeting the heads of the regions to discuss other ways of helping them ease the burden. Germany expects 800,000 asylum seekers to arrive in the country this year.

Some lawmakers have questioned whether it will be possible to achieve a balanced budget this year and in 2016, given the rising costs.

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#chancellor-angela-merkel, #regional-states

GERMANY: ‘ Police Start Investigation into Six Private Security Guards Accused of Assaulting, Humiliating and Abusing Asylum Seekers ‘

#AceNewsServices – GERMANY (Berlin) October 04 – German police Monday started an investigation into six private security guards at a refugee centre accused of assaulting and humiliating asylum seekers in ways that drew comparisons to abuse against Guantanamo Bay prisoners, with some nicknamed the SS The Local reported. 

' German officers were Nicknamed the SS ' The Local reported'

‘ German officers were Nicknamed the SS ‘ The Local reported’

Police also questioned hundreds of refugees after disturbing photo and video footage emerged at the weekend, including an image showing a security guard pinning a handcuffed Algerian man to the floor with his boot on the man’s neck.

Police said they launched their investigation after a journalist passed on to them cellphone video footage that showed security guards forcing an elderly man to lie on a mattress covered in vomit while threatening to beat him.

North Rhine-Westphalia state Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger pledged to pursue “with utmost determination” the case in the refugee centre in Burbach, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south-east of Cologne, vowing to ensure “that this never happens again”.

“These are images of the kind we’ve seen from Guantanamo Bay,” said Frank Richter, police chief of the nearby city of Hagen, referring to the controversial US military detention facility in Cuba.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said that if investigations confirm that “refugees were abused and humiliated, then these would be repulsive acts”.

“We are a humane country. In Germany, the dignity of man is respected… and that must be true in asylum centres and refugee camps,” said Steffen Seibert.

Sources: The Local – AFP – Relief Web  


#asylum-seekers, #berlin, #chancellor-angela-merkel, #germany, #guantanamo-bay, #refugees, #steffen-seibert

GERMANY: ‘ Anti-Euro Party Alternative (AfD) Gains Seats on Wind of Change ‘

#AceWorldNews – GERMANY (Berlin) – September 15 – Germany’s anti-euro party Alternative for Germany (AfD) got a further boost on Sunday (14 September) entering two more state parliaments following regional votes.

Alternative (AfD) Party

Alternative (AfD) Party

We are a party that is renewing the political landscape in Germany where people turn their back to traditional parties that have lost their profile,” said AfD party head Bernd Lucke.

AfD party head Bernd Lucke

AfD party head Bernd Lucke

One can’t deny it any more: the citizens are thirsting for political change,” he added.

Preliminary results suggest the right-wing party secured around 10.6 percent of the vote in Thuringia state and 12.2 percent in Brandenburg.

The two states are traditionally seen as a power base of support for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

Founded 19 months ago, the AfD manifesto calls for a scrapping of the euro in favour of the German Deutsche Mark.

The eurosceptic party has strongly criticised the eurozone bailouts and opposes the concentrated power base of the EU institutions in Brussels.



#alternative-afd-party, #berlin, #brussels, #chancellor-angela-merkel, #christian-democrats, #deutsche-mark, #euro, #euro-sceptic, #german, #germany

GERMANY: ‘ Angela Merkel and Steffen Seibert Deny Knowledge of Arms Delivered to Ukraine ‘

#AceWorldNews – GERMANY (Berlin) – The German government has no knowledge of any country delivering weapons to the Ukraine government, Reuters quoted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman as saying on Monday. 

The question of whether weapons are being delivered should be directed to the countries that supposedly or allegedly are doing it.

We are not one of those countries and I know of no such thing,” Steffen Seibert said.

The spokesman made the comment when asked about the Ukrainian defence minister’s remarks that some NATO countries were sending arms to his country.


#berlin, #chancellor-angela-merkel, #germany, #nato, #ukraine

' David Cameron Conference Call with Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande Over Malaysian MH17 Crash Site '

#AceWorldNews – BRITAIN (London) – July 20 – The Prime Minister has spoken to Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande this morning.

Both calls focused on 2 important issues: access to the crash site; and the EU’s approach to Russia given all the evidence suggests the missile was launched by pro-Russian separatists.

All 3 leaders agreed that the immediate priority is to secure access to the crash site and to ensure that specialist teams are able to recover the victims and return them home. They agreed President Putin has an important role to play by persuading the separatists to grant access and to work with the international community to ensure that all that needs to be done can be done as soon as possible.

They also agreed that the EU must reconsider its approach to Russia and that foreign ministers should be ready to impose further sanctions on Russia when they meet on Tuesday.

The Foreign Secretary will chair a further cross-Whitehall meeting on the MH17 disaster at 1pm today.

The Prime Minister is due to speak to President Putin early this evening.

The Prime Minister has chaired an emergency meeting on flight MH17 and had several discussions with other leaders.

British nationals who are concerned a friend or relative may be involved in the flight MH17 disaster should contact the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500.

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#britain, #chancellor-angela-merkel, #london, #president-francois-hollande, #prime-minister-david-cameron

`German Government does not expect to reach an agreement with `Washington’ on National Security’

#AceWorldNews says the German government does not expect to reach an agreement with Washington in the foreseeable future on a hoped-for “no-spy” deal, AP said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government sought such an accord following revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

US President Barack Obama recently said Washington doesn’t have a no-spy agreement with any country.

Negotiations continue, “but it cannot be assumed that we will reach an agreed solution in the foreseeable future,” Merkel spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said Friday.


#ap, #chancellor-angela-merkel, #national-security-agency, #us, #us-president-barack-obama, #washington

` Germany views `Iran’ as a general threat to Europe’

#AceWorldNews says Germany views Iran as a potential threat not just to Israel, but “as a general threat for Europe as well,” Reuters quoted Chancellor Angela Merkel as saying on Tuesday.

Germany would pursue international talks with Iran on its nuclear activities, she said at a news conference with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Merkel, in Israel for joint consultations, added that that boycotts of Israeli products were not helpful for the peace process.

#chancellor-angela-merkel, #europe, #germany, #iran, #prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu, #reuters