Berlin: expects economic growth to hit 1.7 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent next year. Photograph: Getty Images

Chief drivers of growth are domestic consumption and large-scale state spending to house and feed arrival of asylum seekers

President Michael D Higgins next to UN Conference on Trade and Development Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi in Geneva. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

President criticises “arrogant assumption” that growth can be perpetual and sustainable

A child born today has a one in three chance of developing dementia and, so far, there is no promising research into a cure, according to head of research at Fujitsu Ireland, Anthony McCauley

Three-year collaboration with UCD and HSE centres on purpose-built apartment development in Dundalk

Brave New World: has our watchfulness against a frontal attack from tyrants blind-sided us to the threat from within?

A German-Irish production reshapes Huxley’s enduring dystopian vision

President Michael D Higgins’s  keynote address will open the 10th debt management meeting of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), being held in Geneva  until Wednesday. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

President to query sustainability of growth, outline Irish experience of debt and austerity

Armed police outside the stadium in Hanover in front of a board announcing the cancellation of the Germany-Netherlands  soccer match due to a security threat on November 17th. Photograph: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

Angela Merkel says cancellation of Germany-Netherlands friendly match was correct

German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen in front of a former aicraft hangar transformed into an asylum waiting center, in Erding. Photograph: Armin Weigel/EPA

Home of Erdinger beer now hosts thousands of refugees on old military airfield

Fujitsu is  spinning off its computer and tech products into subsidiaries.  Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Japanese technology giant accelerating push into cloud services

German interior minister Thomas de Maizière: ““I ask the media to trust me on this. We did this for the right reasons.” Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty

Cancellation took place hours after large-scale anti-terror operation in Aachen

Germany’s defence minister Ursula von der Leyen  at an asylum waiting centre: Angela Merkel has defended  her open-door policy. Photograph: Armin Weigel/EPA

Bavarian politician criticised for attacking chancellor and trying to boost public image

Few would argue that, in European terms, tenant rights in Ireland are what they could be

We finally gave a fundamental right to gays now how about the right to a home?

Angela Merkel the “indispensable European” for “defending Germany’s interests without losing sight of Europe’s”. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

It was not in London, Paris or Brussels but in Berlin that George Osborne gave a sneak preview of UK’s EU reform demands

Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt in Bonn, West Germany, in  1975.  After being ousted after eight years in power in 1982, he went on to become one of Germany’s most influential public intellectuals. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Derek Scally: former German chancellor, who has died at 96, commanded huge respect

 German chancellor Angela Merkel: “spying on friends just isn’t done.” Photograph: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/EPA

Der Spiegel’s list of those monitored by intelligence included US, UN, Oxfam and the pope

German chancellor Angela Merkel, German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel (r) and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer (l) address the media before a meeting of German state leaders to discuss the migrant crisis in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Merkel reveals proposals on expediting asylum applications and registration camps

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily, German welfare authorities have come on board to investigate whether some Ryanair pilots really are self-employed. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

Investigation has grown to include 50 pilots who are not officially Ryanair employees

The German-born mathematical atomic physicist Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955).

Professor’s theory was recognised as great by ‘The Irish Times’

German chancellor Angela Merkel and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel   in Berlin. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel aims to quell dissent in her own party amid calls for greater EU burden-sharing

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne speaking to industry leaders in Berlin on Tuesday about the EU reforms being sought by Britain in advance of a referendum next year. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Osborne looks to protect interests of non-euro zone countries in Berlin speech

 South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho performing in this year’s International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, from which he emerged the winner. Photograph: Radek Pietruszka/ EPA

Warsaw Letter: Fryderyk Chopin museum a welcome antidote to bluntness of Polish politics and a reminder of the prized place cultur(...)

Conservative Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski embraces Law and Justice candidate for prime minister Beata Szydlo as they celebrate the party’s success. Photograph: EPA

Beata Szydlo could be worried she may hold prized prime minister post on sufferance

A neo-fascist rally in Dortmund on May 1st. “Dortmund has a problem, something we don’t play down, but the whole country has a problem with the far-right – we’re just the tip of the iceberg.” Photograph: Markus Matzel

City is prime target for neo-Nazis and many fear trouble is brewing

A woman walks by an election billboard in Warsaw featuring Poland’s prime minister Ewa Kopacz,  whose ruling PO party is trailing in polls. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Governing PO party may be victim of its own success as voters seek change

Building work on a skyscraper in Warsaw and, above, the Daniel Libeskind-designed Zlota 44 tower in the city which is made of materials from Ireland’s CRH group.

Poland prepares for Sunday’s election as Irish business links with the East European state strengthen

Max Schrems: The European Court of Justice ruling followed legal action brought by the Austrian privacy campaigner over whether his Facebook data was subject to NSA surveillance. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Can a team of 42 really be expected to police Europe’s data privacy?

Poland’s main opposition party Law and Justice’s leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski meets citizens of Brzeziny, near Lodz, while campaigning in the country’s general election. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Polarised debate marks the election campaign in a country divided

Supporters of the Pegida movement, “Patriotische Europaeer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes,” which translates to “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” gather at a protest rally on Monday in Dresden, eastern Germany. Photograph: Getty

Germany’s refugee crisis has given fresh momentum to the Pegida group

Swiss Liberal Free Democratic Party president Philipp Mueller and Swiss People’s Party president Toni Brunner look at the election results. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images/Fabrice Coffrini

Anti-immigrant party make historic gains while Greens and conservatives lose ground

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk on the banks of the Bosphorus during a meeting in Istanbul on Sunday. Photograph: Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung/Getty Images

Pro-refugee Cologne mayoral candidate stabbed in attack with ‘racist motivation’

Dark days: clouds over Diesel Street in Wolfsburg, the city that is home to VW’s main factory and headquarters. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Wolfsburg, the ultimate company town, was floored by the VW diesel scandal. But, like Das Auto itself, the city is determined to (...)

Polish main opposition party Law and Justice’s candidate for prime minister Beata Szydlo. Photograph:  Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Poles are in the mood for change, and Szydlo promises to achieve it as next prime minister

VW test: There was at least some good news for the car giant yesterday as German officials announced plans to subsidise the purchase of electric cars. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

US regulators yet to determine if code is defeat device installed specifically to cheat

Refugees from Syria near the Austrian-German border in Julbach, Austria. Austria has become the main transit country for migrants travelling from the Balkans to Germany. Photograph: EPA

SPD ministers reject idea as “inhumane” and say zones are “mass camps in no-man’s land”

A sea of steel helmets before the Feldherrnhalle in Munich, November 8th, 1935, where thousands of recruits gathered to swear an oath of fealty to Germany’s new army flag, which bore the Nazi swastika. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Anti-fascist groups say officers stood by as speech linked Nazis and Pegida movement

Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer said the federal government’s departure from standard EU asylum practice was endangering the stability of Germany’s federal states. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Social Democratic Party wants German chancellor to impose cap on asylum applications

 German fan Peter Lintburg Frankfurt in Dublin’s Temple Bar before the defeat by  Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘All hair products, no killer instincts’, Spiegel Online says of the humiliating loss

German chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph: Patrik StollarZ/AFP/Getty Images

German chancellor makes her position clear like never before amid growing criticism

German chancellor Angela Merkel has stood firm on her liberal asylum policy, calling it a “task of historical proportions” in Strasbourg. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

German chancellor warns centre-right party to resist temptations of nationalist solutions

Austrian Max Schrems waits for the verdict of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Julien Warnand

European Court of Justice ruling leaves commission trying to calm businesses

The ECJ ruling has significant consequences for Ireland,  given the number of global technology companies with their European and international headquarters in Dublin, including Google and Facebook. File photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Finding rewrites rules of engagement on privacy issues between Brussels and data regulators

Austrian activist Max Schrems and lawyer Herwig Hofmann  after the verdict of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg yesterday. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Case resulted from Schrems’s original 2013 complaint against Facebook

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 filed 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

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