Germany

Germany: Social Democrats ready for talks to end political crisis

The Social Democrats (SPD) said Friday that they are ready to hold talks that may help caretaker Chancellor Angela Merkel resolve a deep political crisis without calling new elections. “The SPD is of the firm conviction that there must be talks,” its general secretary Hubertus Heil said after an eight-hour, late-night meeting headed by SPD leader Martin Schulz. “The SPD …

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Uganda’s Nicholas Opiyo receives German Africa Prize in Berlin

Nicholas Opiyo received the prestigious German Africa Prize on Thursday at a solemn ceremony in the Allianz Forum at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Opiyo, founder of the human rights organization “Chapter Four Uganda”, has worked tirelessly since 2005 to defend civil liberties in Uganda, often for free and on behalf of society’s most vulnerable and marginalized. The award was …

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Germany honours Ugandan lawyer in Berlin

The Ugandan human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo will be conferred with the 2017 German Africa Prize on Wednesday (25 November) in Berlin. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will present the prestigious award to Opiyo at a ceremony that will be attended by members of the Berlin diplomatic community as well as high-ranking officials of the German government. The German Africa Foundation which …

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Oury Jalloh: A mysterious death in German police custody

Oury Jalloh, a Sierra Leonean refugee died under mysterious circumstances in a police cell in the city of Dessau on 7 January 2005. According to police accounts, the then 21-year-old African was arrested after leaving a discotheque early in the morning of the fateful day. He had been reported by a street cleaner who felt intimidated when he asked to …

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Oury Jalloh: Group launches online petition for retrial

An online campaign has been launched for the retrial of the controversial death of Oury Jalloh. The Sierra Leonean refugee died in police custody in the eastern German city of Dessau on 7 January 2005. In different court proceedings, the police have always maintained that the African killed himself by setting on fire the mattress on which he was shackled. …

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Germany’s Black community protests against Libya’s slave trade

Organisations of people of African descent have called for a public protest against the trade in sub-Saharan migrants in Libya on Saturday, 25 November. The event, named ‘Demonstration to End the Enslavement, Rape, Torture and Killings of Blacks in Libya’, will take place in front of the Libyan Embassy in Berlin. Organised by, among other organisations, Black Community Hamburg, Lampedusa …

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German president calls on parties to make coalition possible

Frank-Walter Steinmeier has taken Germany’s political parties to task after talks to form a new government broke down. The German president says coalition talks must continue amidst speculation there could be a new vote. Deutsche Welle’s Jefferson Chase (Berlin) reports. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier did not announce any concrete steps in a brief statement delivered in Berlin on Monday after …

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Germany: Merkel confident coalition talks are on track despite divisions

The chancellor has said that her CDU party, the Greens and the business-friendly FDP will have an initial agreement ready this week. It is nearly two months since Germany held its general election. Elizabeth Schumacher reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared optimistic on Sunday that despite major policy differences – her Christian Democratic Party (CDU), the Greens and the pro-business …

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1.6 million people seeking asylum in Germany

The Federal Statistical Office has revealed that 2 percent of the people who lived in Germany at the end of 2016 had lodged asylum applications. That’s more than double the figure for 2014. Ben Knight reports. On Friday, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) revealed that 1.6 million people were officially registered as “seeking protection for humanitarian reasons” in Germany at …

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What to do when your asylum request is rejected in Germany

What happens when officials refuse an applicant’s request for asylum? In Germany, applicants have recourse to administrative courts and can even approach the European Court of Human Rights. Here is a short explanation. Types of rejection The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees or BAMF can reject applications for asylum if its officials believe that the individual concerned does not …

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Germany: Coalition talks for new government proving difficult

Threats, name-calling and a whole lot of dramatic posturing: talks among four fractious parties to form a new government under German Chancellor Angela Merkel have proved more fiery than fruitful so far. September’s inconclusive general election left the camps, which span the political spectrum, scrambling to form a stable government under Merkel, with the outcome of negotiations highly uncertain. “We …

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30,000 rejected asylum seekers ‘disappeared’ in Germany, newspaper claims

The German government has admitted that it does not always know the whereabouts of rejected asylum seekers, but argues that the number doesn’t tell the whole truth. The government’s asylum agency faces a file backlog. Ben Knight reports. Around 30,000 rejected asylum seekers have simply disappeared from Germany’s records, a German newspaper has claimed, though the government and refugee organizations …

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German unemployment lowest since 1990

The number of jobless people in Europe’s biggest economy has reached a new low, fresh data has shown. Germany’s labour market experienced its traditional autumn increase in employment in both adjusted and unadjusted terms. The number of unemployed people in Germany dropped below the 2.4-million mark in October, the lowest figure logged since German unification in 1990. The Nuremberg-based Federal …

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Singapore edges out Germany as world’s most powerful passport

By removing visa requirements for Singaporeans, Paraguay helped Singapore edge out Germany for the top spot in the Passport Index published by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital. Singapore was previously tied with Germany for the number-one spot. Paraguay recently removed its visa requirements for Singaporeans, giving citizens easy access to 159 countries, compared to 158 for German passport-holders. Historically, …

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Schäuble elected speaker as new German parliament takes off

Germany’s Bundestag has chosen outgoing Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to be its parliamentary president or speaker. Accepting the post, Schäuble stressed the need to maintain mutual “respect” amid heated debates. Germany’s new parliament held its first session since the September elections in Berlin on Tuesday, with one of its first acts being to choose Wolfgang Schäuble from Angela Merkel’s Christian …

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