Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems. Photograph: Max Schrems/Europe-V-Facebook.or/PA Wire

The privacy activist scored his biggest victory yet in his David vs Goliath struggle

Max Shrems: Not an irritant but a canary in the Irish data mine. Photo AFP / Christian Bruna

Are we the front-line defender of EU privacy rights or a digital-era colonial outpost of the US intelligence services?

Austrian Max Schrems filed a data privacy infringement lawsuit against Facebook. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

A quick guide to the case

EU-US trade and diplomatic relations are sailing into uncharted waters after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled invalid the “Safe Harbour” arrangements allowing streamlined EU citizen data transfer to the US. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Ruling follows a complaint by Austrian law student Max Schrems against Facebook

German chancellor Angela Merkel celebrates the 25th anniversary of German reunification. Political critics argue that Germany’s resources are exhausted even before one million refugees arrive this year. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/Getty

Pressure grows for Merkel to reverse open-door policy on inward migration

 Safe Harbour data arrangement with Facebook and other US tech giants is an “illusion”, according to Marit Hansen, data protection regulator for Germany’s northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Safe Harbour mechanism should be ruled ‘invalid’ and in breach of EU laws and rights

Potsdamer Platz: “Berlin is a museum for every failed city planning attempt since 1945,” said Hans Stimmann, Berlin’s first post-unification German city planner.  Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images.

An ideological war is raging over how the new-old German capital should look

German fans celebrate the national team’s victory in the  2014  World Cup. Photograph: Markus Gilliar/Getty Images

A slew of surveys to mark the anniversary reveal much about the German character

Austrian Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner: Hinted at an early election. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Right-wing populist FPÖ party is riding a wave of public concern on refugees

A migrant waits on Wednesday in Berlin in the premises of the State Office for Health and Welfare for registration and allocation of a shelter. Photograph: Getty Images

Family carry relative from Afghanistan through 12 countries on ‘hell of a journey’

Migrants play with a ball at a temporary shelter in a sports hall in Hanau, Germany. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

After fights in emergency accommodation police seek separation on religious lines

Children in the West Bank city of Hebron in 2005 with a mock coffin wrapped with a Danish flag that reads, in Arabic, “Death to Denmark”. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Debate continues as ‘Jyllands-Posten’ newspaper and cartoonist unrepentant

Matthias Müller: uncontroversial choice to take over as chief executive. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Former Porsche head (62) promises ‘ruthless investigation’ into emission-test allegations

Chancellor Angela Merkel with Thomas de Maiziere: the interior minister said Berlin did not anticipate the “stampede” its decision on refugees would cause. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/EPA

Thomas de Maizière criticises decision to suspend EU rules on asylum applications

German firm ÜV-Nord has developed a testing system that will provide proper on-road test results. It is due to be intorduced to the German certified testing regime next year.

Loopholes - like removing interior trim to save weigh and over-inflating tyres - are all allowed, making a mockery of the test reg(...)

Matthias Müller’s appointment has the support of a majority on the 20-member supervisory board, according to sources. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Porsche chief Matthias Müller expected to be named new Volkswagen CEO

Matthias Müller: likely to be new CEO of VW. Photograph: REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/Files

The crooked actions of the world famous car company carry serious implications for all concerned

Volkswagen AG shares fell again on news of the widening scandal. Photograph: Bloomberg

Audi confirms version of engine at centre of emissions scandal used in best-selling models

New car sales statistics show nearly 80,000 new Audi, Skoda, Seat and VW cars were sold in Ireland with 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre, 2-litre diesels between 2009 and 2014.

Audis, VWs, Skodas and Seats could all be affected, as VW admits issue extends to Europe

Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn resigned after an eight-hour crisis board meeting on Wednesday. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Four candidates are likely replacements for the reeling German carmaker

 Max Schrems: The European Court of Justice case arose from a complaint by the  Austrian lawyer and privacy campaigner   to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. Photographer: Max Schrems/Europe-V-Facebook.or/PA Wire

Decision reached over concerns EU citizens’ data was being passed on by US firms

For US tech giants with legal headquarters in Europe, like Facebook, a final ruling in line with the advocate general’s preliminary assessment will exacerbate an already tricky situation.

If court follows preliminary ruling, the consequences for EU-US relations could be considerable

European Court of Justice delivers landmark assessment ahead of full ruling

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald, German justice minister Thomas de Maizière and European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos attend Tuesday’s meeting. Photograph:  Peter Cavanagh

Orban expected to confront centre-right EU leaders, including Kenny and Merkel

Volkswagen is considered more than a company, it is the calling card of Germany PLC overseas. Photograph: EPA

Chief executive Martin Winterkorn faces grilling from board

 Bundeswehr  snipers with Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles, the   weapon of choice for German soldiers, Mexican drug barons and Islamic State terrorists. Photograph: Reuters

Country cannot ignore questions over its role in supporting conflict

The house where Josef Fritzl imprisoned his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her. Photograph: Getty Images

Move indicative of pressure on officials as thousands of migrants arrive in country

 Clint Eastwood and  Doris Day at the Golden Globe Awards in 1989: They are neighbours in Carmel Valley and Eastwood reportedly gave Day  a script which she loved and is set to have her first film role in almost half a century. Photograph: Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage

Eastwood persuaded his Californian neighbour Day to do a film, says ‘Bild’ tabloid

Politicians see refugees as a young workforce which will  defuse Germany’s demographic time bomb. Photograph: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters

One person, who arrived 13 years ago, says the country still has ‘identity’ issues

German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel: “What should we do, send people back to Hungary when we know how they treat people?”. Photograph: EPA/Hans Punz

Interior minister’s comments ahead of summit contradict Merkel’s offer of asylum to all

German chancellor Angela Merkel  and Danish prime minster Lars Loekke Rasmussen: A poll on Monday suggested that 78 per cent of Danes want their country to participate in the EU distribution plan. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Opinions on migrant distribution plan shift in country dubbed ‘Hungary of the north’

People reach out for aid packages in Tovarnik, Croatia. Hundreds of migrants have pushed through police lines in the eastern Croatian town, with people trampling and falling on each other amid the chaos, as more than 2,000 men, women and children were stuck at the local train station for hours in blazing heat and sun, waiting to board trains and buses for transport to refugee centres. Photograph: Marko Drobnjakovic/AP

Diplomats working to secure consensus as EU struggles to respond to crisis

Facing growing criticism in western capitals, Polish prime minister Ewa Kopacz said Poland would accept as many migrants “as we can afford: not one more, nor less”

Poland has finally indicated it will do more to help with migrant crisis

For Chancellor Angela Merkel closing the border was a capitulation in deed to a word she has, for months, studiously avoided: overwhelmed. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Mastering the crisis forces Germany, after decades of evasion, to face certain questions

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said, since the Amsterdam Treaty of 1999, “Ireland has been party to a protocol under which we may opt in to such measures on a case-by-case basis”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister concerned Merkel remarks suggest Ireland has opted out of response measures

Police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil and Austria’s interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. “There was also a Syrian travel document found so of course our first assumption is that these people were migrants, and likely a group of Syrian migrants,” said Mr Doskozil. Photograph: Roland Schlager/EPA

Four men arrested after truck inside which 59 men, eight women and four children – the youngest a baby girl – were found dead

Police officers are seen around a refrigerated truck parked along a highway near Neusiedl am See, Austria, on Thursday. Police have raised their initial estimate of the number of migrants believed to have died in the lorry to 70. Photograph: AFP

Austrian police confirm 59 men, eight women and four children suffocated in truck

Helene Fischer, the golden girl of modern German entertainment and the most succesful singer you have never heard of

Blonde Barbarella Helene Fischer is the undisputed golden girl of German language pop

Syrian migrants cross under a fence as they enter Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke on Thursday. Photograph: Reuters

At least 20 found dead in an abandoned refrigeration lorry close to capital Vienna

Forensic experts investigate a truck in which 50 refugees were found dead on the road between Parndorf and Neusiedl in Austria. The driver has disappeared, according to reports. Photograph: Roland Schlager/EPA

Tragedy in Austria is a warning for us to work to resolve the migrant crisis, says Merkel

Facebook has denied its network has fanned any xenophobic flames in Germany’s refugee debate. Photograph:  Thomas Hodel/Reuters

US social network accused of failing to take effective action on anti-refugee posts

Ralph Boes, on hunger strike since July 1st in protest at Germany’s welfare system, waits it out on Pariser Platz. Photograph: Derek Scally

First launched by Gerhard Schröder, welfare reforms divide Germans

German chancellor Angela Merkel with Heidenau major Juergen Opitz and Saxony state prime minister Stanislaw Tillich after their visit to an asylum seekers’ accommodation facility in the Heidenau near Dresden, where last week more than 30 police were injured when a mob of several hundred people pelted officers with bottles and fireworks. Photograph: Reuters

German chancellor visits town of Heidenau where mob rioted over arrival of refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel who condemned violent protests against refugees that erupted over the weekend in eastern Germany. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

Many show solidarity with newcomers but ask why Germany bears brunt of crisis

German chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a school in Rostock. Photograph: Steffen Kugler

Rostock event shows next generation of German voters reject her style of politics

“After all, we Irish emigrants are disenfranchised, aren’t we?” Photograph: The Irish Times

Turning blind eye may set dangerous precedent for close abortion referendum

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s president Francois Hollande present a unified front on the refugee crisis. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel rounds on ‘repulsive’ neo-Nazi messages of hate after violent Saxony stand-off

A local trader throws sweets to parade onlookers before the 714th annual Stoppelmarkt, northern Germany’s biggest fair in the town of Vechta, a stronghold for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union: Photograph: Derek Scally

People in the rural west see the Chancellor and her Christian Democratic Union as the best defender of local interests

Life in politics: Angela Merkel in her office at the chancellery in Berlin. Photograph: Thomas IMO/Photothek via Getty
Merkel’s decade

The German chancellor has huge support and works the media well – but, after 10 years in office, can she inspire a nation during t(...)

Egon Bahr died on August 20th, aged 93. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Under Ostpolitik he retooled policy to eastern bloc away from show of military strength

German chancellor Angela Merkel casts her vote as the Bundestag yesterday approved a third bailout package for Greece. Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty

Finance minister rows back on doubts and asks MPs to back proposal with ‘conviction’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel  at the German parliament prior to a vote on another bailout package for Greece, in the German Bundestag in Berlin. Photograph: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Expectations of a rebellion in Angela Merkel’s party fizzle out after a lively debate

The Reichstag in Berlin, where Angela Merkel’s  coalition will vote on the third Greek bailout. Photograph: Stefanie Loos/Reuters

German chancellor urges MPs to back plan as party rebels are threatened with expulsion

‘That German banks wrecked the Irish economy is one of the most persistent legends of the crisis. German bankers lent recklessly to the innocent Irish and then sent in Angela Merkel, the Austerity Queen, to get back their bad investments.’  Photograph:  EPA/Wolfgang Kumm

‘German banks were not big lenders to Ireland’s pre-crisis domestic banking sector. British banks, US banks and offshore banks wer(...)

 Angela Merkel: ‘The issue of asylum could be the next major European project, in which we show whether we are really able to take joint action,’ she told ZDF public television. Photograph: Jürgen Detmers/AFP/Getty Images

Germany vote on Wednesday on whether to back a third aid package to Greece

HTC Vive headset

Big computer game players are ready to leap into virtual reality, gaming’s next big thing

The German chancellor’s old digs in the eastern neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg has been  thoroughly renovated since she lived there in the 1980s

City fathers have declared war on a thriving grey market which includes Angela Merkel’s old home

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras: Has repeatedly stressed his reluctance to accept three more years of harsh austerity. Photograph: Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters

Rebel MPs in Bundestag resent pressure from CDU to vote Yes to package

The Ikea store in central Sweden where the knife attack occurred. Photograph: Peter Kruger/EPA

Killer struck without warning, killing two customers and seriously injuring a third

Germany’s deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel shares a light moment with residents of a refugee centre in Wolgast, Germany:  Germany accepted 202,815 asylum seekers in 2014, the most of any EU country. Photograph: Bernd Wuestneck/EPA

German deputy chancellor calls for balance, ‘otherwise Europe risks losing its humanity’

People cool off in the water at Berlin’s Wannsee lido as temperatures hit 40 degrees. Staff at the nudist area say they have  full-time job demanding that visitors either shrug off their swimsuits or move elsewhere. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Nudists fear tradition dating to the 1920s is under threat from scandalised visitors

Election of Andrzej Duda marks a shift to the right in central Europe’s largest state

The control tower at Berlin-Tegel airport, due to close when the Berlin Brandenburg International opens. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Berlin Brandenburg International meant to be €600m project but is now costing €5.4bn

Gamescom: expected to break last year’s attendance record of 335,000 after the show sold out before it even began. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Quantum Break TV series to star Shawn Ashmore and ‘Love-Hate’ actor Aidan Gillen

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei his  son Ai Lao at Munich airport: the activist has said  that his homeland must become a democratic society. Photograph: Matthias Schrader/AP

Beijing leadership in denial about scale of problems the country is facing, warns artist

Germany’s chief prosecutor Harald Range,  had accused his then boss, the federal justice minister, of unacceptable political interference. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Harald Range faced resignation calls over inquiry into rights website

A decade ago Salander’s creator, 50-year-old Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, died suddenly of a heart attack just before publication of the first book in the series, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. Photograph: Britt-Marie Trensmar/Scanpix.

Aristocrat David Lagercrantz has written sequel to Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ trilogy

One of the two defendants, identified only as Ayoub B, covers his face with a file folder as he is led into a courtroom in Celle, Germany, on Sunday. Photograph: Holger Hollemann/EPA.

The two hold dual German-Tunisian citizenship and face up to 10 years in jail

German chancellor Angela Merkel: The Emnid survey gives her and her allies more support than the rest of Germany’s Bundestag parties put together. Photograph: Axel Schmidt

German chancellor can do little wrong with an impressed public – if polls are to be trusted

Blogger Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, founder of Meister labelled the charges of treason “absurd”. Photograph: EPA/Britta Pedersen

Prize-winning website published leaked intelligence documents earlier this year

 Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Officials in Berlin insist he is not interested in weakening the European Commission. Photograph: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Report that finance minister is going after Juncker over role in Greek crisis is denied

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Proposal could form part of a wider EU reform debate being demanded by London

Olivier Herbert and Miquel Ballester Salva of Fairphone, the Dutch company that aims to offer customers a phone made with the fairest possible components.

Fairphone isn’t just a phone company, it’s a movement against conflict minerals

German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel: only a third of SPD members think he can unseat Angela Merkel. Photograph: Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images

Angela Merkel’s coalition partner’s style has earned him the nickname of ‘Zig-Zag Siggi’

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble will divert tax takings for new “euro budget”. Photograph: Eric Luke

German minister anxious to support the French revival of ‘economic government’

Journalists pointed out Angela Merkel had worn her outfit to Bayreuth before. As usual no one pointed out that her husband Joachim Sauer has been wearing the same tuxedoes to Bayreuth for years. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Production of ‘Tristan and Isolde’ upstaged by chancellor’s furniture malfunction

Berlin’s Olympic Stadium: German authorities admit they were nervous about holding such a large event at such a notorious site.

European Maccabi Games begin in city’s Olympic Stadium, notorious for Nazi links

A makeshift memorial in Duisburg to victims of the Love Parade disaster on its fifth anniversary. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

Lack of progress with criminal cases is ‘second tragedy’, says founder

Refugees who arrived in Germany by crossing the nearby Austrian border  at the X-Point Halle initial registration center of the German federal police  near Passau, Bavaria, Germany. Photograph: Joerg Koch/Getty Images

The ruling Christian Social Union proposes to assemble arrivals on the border

Max Schreck in the lead role of Nosferatu in the 1922 expressionist film.

Theft prompts ‘Bild’ to ask: ‘Did Satanists steal ‘Nosferatu’ director’s head?’

A screen grab of the ‘Straight’ video.

New magazine aimed at German lesbians starts campaign

The €150-a-month payment has been in effect since August 2013 and has a 73 per cent take-up rate. Photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA

Critics say the payment reinforces inequality and negatively affects immigrant families

A Lufthansa aircraft  (foreground) and a plane of the company’s Germanwings subsidiary at Dusseldorf airport. Lufthansa  said its compensation offer went beyond legal guidelines. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Parents of German children killed criticise Lufthansa offer as ‘insult’ in emotional letter

Bernd Lucke at the founding meeting of the new party, in Kassel, western Germany. Photograph: Uwe Zucchi/AFP/Getty Images

Bernd Lucke says Allianz für Fortschritt und Aufbruch would not be afraid of addressing social problems including migration

Beate Zschaepe (left), the surviving member of the extreme-right National Socialist Underground (NSU), arriving in a   Munich court. Photograph Joerg Koch/Getty Images

Beate Zschäpe accused of link to longest serial killing campaign in post-war Germany

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble: “Politicians have their responsibility for their office. No one can force them.” Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images.

Wolfgang Schäuble floats idea of resigning over ‘time-out’ euro zone exit for Greece

 Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg:  today is the  anniversary of the failed plot against Hitler, on July 20th, 1944. Photograph: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Berlin exhibit documents courage of the few who opposed the Hitler juggernaut

Berlin will only act if the verbal Molotov cocktails stop flying in its direction ... Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech during a special session at the Bundestag on new Greek bail-out deal. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Eurocrisis has exposed incompatible thinking on crucial question: what should a state do when its private economy hits the skids?(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel and German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble during a special session of the German Bundestag over the proposed bailout package for Greece, in Berlin, Germany, yesterday. Photograph: Bernd von Jutrczenka/EPA

The German chancellor has never been more dependent on the flinty finance minister

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during debates prior to a vote over the third EU financial aid package Photograph:Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of joining new talks for third bailout

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble  arriving for a special meeting of the Christian Democratic parliamentary group on the Greek debt crisis in the Reichstag yesterday. Photograph: Gregor Fischer/EPA

German finance minister thinks Greece’s debt is unsustainable

 German chancellor Angela Merkel comforting a crying Palestinian girl during a public meeting. Photograph: Steffen Kugler/AFP/Getty Images

German chancellor criticised for ‘inhuman’ reaction to Palestinian girl during meeting

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble.   Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty

German finance minister says a Greek exit to restructure its debts must be considered

94-year-old former SS sergeant Oskar Groening listens to the verdict of his trial on Wednesday. Photograph: Axel Heimken/AP

Former SS officer (94) found guilty of complicity in murder at Nazi death camp

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras talks to the media after the euro zone Summit over the Greek debt crisis in Brussels on July 13th, 2015. Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

Comparison between final agreement and eurogroup draft statement

German chancellor Angela Merkel giving a final press conference at the end of a eurozone leader summit on the Greek crisis in Brussels. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

Greek parliament has 48 hours to pass raft of tough legal measures

 Journalists wait for the end of euro zone leader summit on the Greek crisis, at the European Council headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: EPA

Proposals a humiliating retreat in a multi-billion game of poker before global audience

A woman burns the flag of the ruling party Syriza, while surrounded by journalists, in front of the Greek parliament in Athens during an anti-EU demonstration in Athens on Monday. Photograph: Louise Gouliamak/AFP/Getty

Street protests as negotiations on a third bailout for Greece will take at least four weeks, eurogroup predicts

German president Joachim Gauck. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Joachim Gauck addresses rise of anti-European sentiment ahead of State visit

Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde at Sunday’s meeting  of finance ministers. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Proposed deal would legally oblige Athens to implement reform measures

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