Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that a compromise deal that will allow the completion of a Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further U.S. sanctions is “good for Ukraine,” the Associated Press reported. The U.S. and Germany announced the deal on Wednesday and committed to countering any Russian attempt to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon. They also agreed to support Ukraine and Poland, both of which are bypassed by the project and fear Russia’s intentions, by funding alternative energy and development projects.

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The U.S. and Germany on Wednesday announced a deal to allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further U.S. sanctions, the Associated Press reported. The agreement aims to stanch fears about European dependence on Russian energy, but it was immediately assailed by critics who said it doesn’t go far enough. Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. and Germany committed to countering any Russian attempt to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon.

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Germany’s Cabinet met to decide on a package of immediate aid for victims of last week’s floods and consider longer-term plans to rebuild devastated areas, the Associated Press reported. Chancellor Angela Merkel and ministers are expected to approve a package of around 400 million euros ($472 million), financed half by the federal government and half by Germany’s state governments, to help people deal with the immediate aftermath of the flooding and repair some of the damage.

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The Biden administration has reached a preliminary agreement with Germany over a controversial Russia-to-Europe gas pipeline that is vehemently opposed by Ukraine and Poland, as well as both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the Associated Press reported. Congressional aides briefed on the outlines of the deal said it would allow the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline without either Germany or Russia facing new U.S. sanctions. In return, the U.S. and Germany will make certain concessions to Ukraine and Poland, although it was not immediately clear if those would be welcomed.

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Measured by the number of fatalities, the current floods in Germany constitute the worst flooding catastrophe since the storm flood along the North Sea coast in 1962, the World Socialist Web Site reported. Officially, more than 180 people have died so far, with at least 156 in Germany and 31 in Belgium. Thousands of people remain unaccounted for. People around the world are horrified by the devastation wrought by the floods. Drone video and before-and-after pictures reveal the extent of the destruction. The high waters had an especially horrific impact in the Eifel region.

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German EV hopeful Next.e.GO Mobile SE is in talks to go public through a blank-check company or an initial public offering that could value the manufacturer of compact cars for shorter trips at as much as 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), Bloomberg News reported. The company, saved from insolvency last year, may go through with the plan within the next 12 months, Chairman Ali Vezvaei said in an interview. “There are advantages to both and we’re examining our options,” Vezvaei said, while the company has plans to produce a total of 300,000 vehicles over the next five years.
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German airline Lufthansa raised 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in a corporate bond sale on Wednesday, boosting its finances after a state bail-out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported. Lufthansa, which was hit hard by the ensuing tourism crisis, had already issued a bond in February to repay part of last year's 9 billion euro bailout from state lender KfW. "The repeated successful placement of a corporate bond again confirms our access to a variety of advantageous financing instruments," finance chief Remco Steenbergen said in a statement.
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The number of people registered as sex workers with German authorities declined sharply last year as coronavirus restrictions shut brothels for months, official data showed Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Legislation in 2002 legalized and regulated prostitution in Germany, giving sex workers social benefits, and they are now obliged to register. But brothels have been closed for much of the time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 as part of wider lockdowns.

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The insolvency administrator of Air Berlin is set to sue Deutsche Börse subsidiary Clearstream to recover €497.8 million, the Luxembourg Times reported. The complaint was due to be filed with a Frankfurt regional court on Friday, said administrators for Air Berlin, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Clearstream Banking AG is “registered as a shareholder of the ordinary shares of Air Berlin PLC in the shareholder register of Air Berlin PLC in the UK “, the administrator said.

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