Chairwoman of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) Frauke Petry at the party’s conference. Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

German party’s manifesto anchors it in Europe’s thriving populist landscape

Reinhold Hanning: the 94-year-old  SS concentration camp guard during his trial in the western German city of Detmold. Photograph: Bernd Thissen/EPA

Reinhold Hanning on trial charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder

Social Democrat (SPD) labour minister Andrea Nahles is sponsoring  a Bill that strips non-German EU citizens of all claims on the German welfare system in their first five years, unless they have acquired credits by working. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Bill strips non-German EU citizens of all welfare claims in first five years unless they had work

For years   Berlin tenants’ associations have called for action on the largely unregulated holiday let sector, arguing it prices regular Berliners out of the housing market. Photograph:  Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images

Letting company wants to avoid legal action by authorities

The head of a 19m high statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin  on display at the permanent exhibition “Revealed: Berlin and its Monuments” in Berlin’s Spandau Citadel museum. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Berlin exhibition puts previously banished German political statues back in spotlight

Charging an electric car. As VW negotiates the terms of compensation, engine fixes and car recalls for its massive fraud in the US, it stands to benefit from a German e-car stimulus programme co-financed by taxpayers and the industry.

Car lobby argues that stimulus is needed to catch up with competitors

Presidential candidate Norbert Hofer (R) and head of the Austrian Freedom party Heinz-Christian Strache (L) react to the presidential election results in Vienna, Austria. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Norbert Hofer of the FPÖ wins 36.7% of the vote and faces second-round run-off

Barack Obama during his visit to Hanover, Germany: Mr Obama said the world needed a “strong and prosperous and democratic and united Europe”. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US president urges Europe to buy US goods and do more for its own security

Barack Obama and Angela Merkel on his trip to Germany for an industrial fair and to meet European leaders.  Photograph: Michael Ukas/Getty

Chancellor and US president cast aside past differences in favour of praise and respect

 Mozart is now hugely popular with children in China

As firms are snapped up, the result may pose a threat to a treasured European institution

Interior of the Manufactum shop in Stuttgart

For almost three decades, Manufactum has been fighting the tide of built-in consumerist obsolescence with a range of beautifully c(...)

The deal will cover up to 500,000 cars. Photograph: Reuters

Agreement will allow carmaker to avoid prosecution

This is the firt time Germany has hit back at notion Volkswagen was a lone emissions dodger. Photograph: AP

German government orders almost all car companies to make changes to engines

Almost 600,000 cars on US roads are powered by engines rigged to appear to emit less nitrogen oxide than they do. Photograph: EPA

Carmaker offering US drivers $5,000 and a free engine fix

The first senate of the German federal constitutional court announces its verdict on the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) law, in Karlsruhe, Germany, on Wednesday. Photograph: Uli Deck/EPA

Karlsruhe court rules that spying powers of BKA federal police intrude on privacy

Both Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban (L) and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl   insisted there was no contradiction in their migration suggestions and those of Angela Merkel. Photograph: Daniel Biskup/Reuters

Hungarian prime minister and German ex-chancellor hold ‘private, friendly’ meeting

Making a comeback: from city bikes to high-end models, Pelago bikes are beautifully designed with a loyal and growing following

There is a growing new focus throughout Europe on older, more sturdy bikes

Copenhagen built proper, one-way cycle lanes with kerbs separating them from pedestrians and motorists. Anything else, the Danes say, is a waste of time, money and effort. Photograph: Thinkstock

The Danes have created a cycling mecca, and the car lobby has conceded defeat. Can Dublin do the same?

 Lutz Bachmann (right), co-founder of Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida), wearing an angular pair of sunglasses as his trial began at the district court in Dresden, Germany. Photograph: Sebastian Kahnert/EPA

Lutz Bachmann tells Dresden court he did not write inflammatory Facebook postings

Beatrix von Storch, MEP for the German right-wing Alternative für Deutschland party, backed a proposal to shoot refugees entering Germany illegally. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Right-wing party accused of abusing Islam to tap into fears arising from terrorist attacks

German chancellor Angela Merkel: Indicated “contempt” for such people following the Anglo Irish Bank tapes revelations. Photograph: EPA

Pointing out our failure to learn from painful past continues to enjoy an enduring appeal

Former chancellor Helmut Kohl: Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, a fierce critic of Angela Merkel’s migrant policy, is to visit  Kohl, raising eyebrows among German politicians. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters/Files

Ex-chancellor sides with Hungarian leader Orbán who he is meeting on Tuesday

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and German TV host Jan Böhmermann. Photograph: (right) Ole Spata/EPA and (left) Presidential Press Office

Chancellor accepts Turkish request to seek prosecution over poem that ‘insulted’ Erdogan

Primate of Poland, archbishop Wojciech Polak conducts a jubilee mass to mark the 1,050th anniversary of Poland becoming a Christian nation. Photograph: Bartosz JankowskI/EPA

Critics denounce ruling party’s ties to church and brazen trampling on rule of law

 Chancellor Angela Merkel has authorised a Turkish demand for criminal proceedings against German TV comedian Jan Böhmermann (right) over a satirical poem about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) in a bitter row over free speech. Photograph: Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP/Getty Images

Jan Böhmermann could face jail time for insulting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Jan Böhmermann: He wrote the poem to draw attention to limits on freedom of expression in Germany because of little-used paragraphs that forsee fines or a prison sentence of up to five years for insulting a foreign head of state.  Photograph: Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters

German comedian under police guard two weeks after reading poem insulting Erdogan

Pro-choice demonstration in Warsaw: A compromise reached with Poland’s influential Catholic Church in 1993 has, in the intervening years, been a source of constant legal battles. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Open letter calls for retention of status quo of relatively restrictive abortion legislation

A Bundeswehr soldier: Germany’s army is currently forbidden from acting on domestic soil except in cases of national emergency. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Defence ministry proposal to loosen rules comes in face of ‘security-political threats’

German comedian Jan Boehmermann. Germany said on Monday it was reviewing a formal request from Ankara to prosecute the TV satirist for insulting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on air, amid a bitter row over free speech. Photograph:  Britta Pedersen/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel’s migration deal hangs in balance as Ankara angered by poem insulting Erdogan

Syrian refugees arrive at the border entrance camp Friedland near Goettingen, Germany. One asylum seeker started a fire in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Photograph: EPA/Swen  Pfoertner

The man admits setting refugee accommodation on fire and spraying swastikas on a wall

Ready to roll:  Pilot Cecelia and passenger Ellen, and pilot Theis with Hele, left, and Birthle, right. Photograph: Derek Scally

Volunteer-driven ‘Cycling Without Age’ has been a huge success and has taken off worldwide

Ulrike Guérot’s modest proposal offers a new twist on the old idea of more, not less, Europe. Her goal: a three-pillar European democracy offering trans-national sovereignty based on equality of all European citizens – in place of today’s Animal Farm Europe, where some countries are more equal than others. Photograph: Getty Images

No one wants to take credit for it, nor does anyone know how to deal with it

 Sigmar Gabriel: senior party leaders think the SPD leader should lead the losing campaign in  general election.  Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Narrow margin separates Social Democrats from right-wing AfD party

German chancellor Angela Merkel: she had an open-door policy last year towards Syrian asylum seekers. Photograph: EPA/Britta Pedersen

Ahead of joint cabinet meeting French president warns against unilateral moves on migrant crisis

File combination photo of two formerly unknown paintings by German artist Otto Dix. Some 1,500 artworks were confiscated from the Munich residence of Cornelius Gurlitt by German authorities. Photograph: Reuters

Police found and seized about 1,500 major artworks at Cornelius Gurlitt’s Munich home

 Syrian refugees arrive at Hannover Airport in  Germany on Monday under the controversial “one for one” plan. Photograph: Holger Hollemann/EPA

European Commission welcomes ‘logical’ system as human rights bodies critical

Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl  with Chancellor Angela Merkel during an official 80th birthday reception for Dr Kohl in his home town of Ludwigshafen in 2010. They are believed to have had an uneasy relationship for many years. Photograph: Torsten Silz/AFP/Getty Images

Former German chancellor’s essay appears to refer to migrant strategy of Angela Merkel

Anti-Islamic State demonstrators on Sunday at the site of the memorial for the victims of the March 22nd terror attacks in Brussels. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Mayor ‘outraged’ at incident as more arrests made across Belgium over terror attacks

Bear witness: A man cloaked in a Belgian flag looks on as hundreds of people at a makeshift memorial gather before Brussels Stock Exchange on Place de la Bourse. Photograph: Getty Images

Fifth suspect may have taken part in attack on metro station, officials believe

Belgian soldiers patrol in the Grand Place of Brussels following Tuesday's bombings in Brussels , Belgium, March 24, 2016.    REUTERS/Charles Platiau

City dwellers return to their routines slowly, still fearful after the massacres

 Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo speaks after the Government Security Centre crisis meeting in Warsaw, Poland. EPA/Radek Pietruszka

Brussels attacks used by prime minister to backtrack on plans to take in 7,000

A street memorial to victims of Tuesday’s Zaventem airport bombings is seen in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Death toll may rise above 31 with over 60 people still critical after metro, airport blasts

A woman pauses for thought after a minute’s silence was observed at the Place De La Bourse, in Brussels, yesterday. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Medical personnel in Belgium warn that the death toll is likely to increase

Brothers Brahim El Bakraoui (left) and Khalid El Bakraoui who carried out suicide bomb attacks in Brussels. Photograph: EPA

Police in Belgium continue to hunt third suspect in airport attack

People hold a minute of silence at Place de la Bourse  in Brussels on Wednesday, a day after blasts hit the Belgian capital. Photograph: Getty

Historic stock market square in the city becomes a multi-coloured makeshift shrine

A CCTV image shows two suspected suicide bombers at Brussels Airport on Tuesday. Photograph: HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui identified as airport attacker, brother Khalid targetted metro

Police and rescue vehicles at the Wetstraat-Rue de la Loi, which was evacuated after an explosion at the Maelbeek - Maalbeek subway station in Brussels on Tuesday.  Photograph: Laurie Dieffembacq/AFP/Getty

Popular opinion wrestles with difference between refugees and terrorists, writes Derek Scally

File photograph of German chancellor Angela Merkel and then  foreign minister Guido Westerwelle during a news conference in Berlin, in 2010. Photograph:  Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Country’s first openly gay minister was one of most gifted political orators of generation

Kerrygold: market share under pressure in Germany

Irish butter giant Ornua’s premium brand is feeling the heat from no-name competitors

Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver  in central Berlin on Tuesday. Photograph: Getty

Man (43) murdered in city centre when explosive device detonated as he drove car

Super Sunday was bad for German chancellor Angela Merkel, but could have been worse. Christian Democratic Union leader  attends a news conference at  party headquarters in Berlin. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Super Sunday verdict loaded with paradox for chancellor and political establishment

Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is pictured through a broken window after first exit polls in three regional state elections at the AfD party’s election night party in Berlin, Germany yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

The so-called “Super Sunday” election was super only for the right-wing AfD

Joerg Meuthen, top candidate of Alternative für Deutschland, reacts to initial results in Baden-Wurttemberg state electionson Sunday in Stuttgart, Germany. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Voters punished Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in all three elections

People, including one man wearing a T-shirt that reads “Ami Go Home” in reference to the continued presence of US troops in Germany, listen to a speech by AfD co-leader Frauke Petry in Baden-Baden, Germany, on March 7th. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Uncertainty and anger at migrant crisis has boosted populist party for Sunday’s elections

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a campaign event for the Baden-Wuerttemberg CDU in Nuertingen, on Tuesday, framed by an image of CDU frontrunner Guido Wolf. Photograph: Marijan Murat/EPA

Germany’s regional politicians are on the front lines of the migration crisis

The Television Tower, Berlin. Photograph: Thinkstock

The modern Irish in Berlin do not conform to the stereotype of an insular, GAA shirt-wearing displaced Irish village, although lat(...)

Poland’s constitutional tribunal ruled on Wednesday that the country’s December 22nd Bill, changing the court’s inner workings, was at odds with the constitution. Its ruling has put the court on a collision course with the government of prime minister Beata Szydlo, above. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Constitutional tribunal effectively declares war on conservative PiS government

German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at a press conference at the end of a summit of European Union leaders with Turkey in Brussels on Tuesday. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

‘Considerable step forward’ made in fight against traffickers, German chancellor says

Managers Matthias Müller and Dieter Pötsch were informed about widespread diesel exhaust manipulation before US authorities revealed the practice, claims Süddeutsche Zeitung. Photograph:  Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Claim contradicts VW’s version blaming engineers and exonerating management

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who deliberately crashed a  plane into the Alps last March, killing 149 passengers and crew, pictured in San Francisco California. Photograph: AP

Andreas Lubitz’s diary raises new questions about why he was allowed to fly

At a conference in Dublin marking the 15th anniversary of the Business German in Ireland (BuGI) working group, a call  for early foreign language teaching was backed by almost all speakers

Conference told thousands of vacancies not being filled by Irish because of lack of German and other languages

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel under pressure to secure agreement with EU colleagues on measures

Stephen Molloy (right) with design partner Gunnar Rönsch: “You can mass produce the supposed glamour and desirability of a designer brand more easily and more predictably than you can mass produce actual quality craftsmanship”

Once Stephen Molloy stopped swotting in Dublin, he discovered the fun and ownership design brings

European Council president Donald Tusk   in Ankara on Thursday.   The number of migrants crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to EU territory remains “far too high”, he said. Photograph: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

European Council president vows not to strand Greece on the front line of the crisis

EU humanitarian aid commissioner Christos Stylianides giving a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

European Commission proposes €700m package for struggling member states

The second senate of the German federal constitutional court opens a hearing on a ban of Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party  at the court in Karlsruhe, Germany: over three days the eight-judge court will hear why the NPD deserves to be banned or not. Photograph: Marijan Murat/EPA

NPD’s xenophobic policies pose threat to Germany’s democratic order, court told

German chancellor  Angela Merkel: credits her first coalition with getting Germany through the crisis. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

FF and FG are not willing bedfellows, but rivals work well in neighbouring countries

German chancellor Angela Merkel and TV host Anne Will posing before a TV interview on the migrant crisis  on Sunday. Photograph: AFP

On Sunday night the German chancellor channelled her inner Margaret Thatcher

Olof Palme: attracted worldwide attention for his strident criticism of US involvement in Vietnam and of the Cold War arms race.

Investigation into prime minister’s killing still operational but mystery may never be solved

German police officers standing in front of migrants waiting to cross the border from Austria near Freilassing, Germany in September 2015. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters.

Vienna’s slashing of asylum applications by a third was a first step to force change

Children sit near a fire as migrants and refugees wait to cross the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, northern Greece. Photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

As tensions flare, migration commissioner warns system could completely break down

German chancellor Angela Merkel and other members of parliament vote on the introduction of expedited asylum proceedings in the German Bundestag on Thursday. Photograph: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA

Angela Merkel passes legislation to tighten asylum rules and reduce migrant influx

Patricia Kelly: “I’m never going to be 100 per cent Irish, but I’ve always felt very welcome there”

Patricia Kelly, once of the mega-selling Kelly Family, has gone solo. She talks about Ireland, the migration crisis and surviving (...)

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel is under growing domestic pressure to drive down asylum seeker numbers. Photoghraph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Berlin’s tougher stance on migration criticised in report by Amnesty International

Women shout slogans and hold up a placard that reads ‘Against Sexism – Against Racism’ as they march through the main railways station of Cologne, Germany, last month. Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

None of the accused face charges over alleged New Year’s Eve assaults that caused uproar

The former palace, dynamited in 1950, has risen again from Berlin’s sandy soil. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Despite a 25-year rebuilding campaign the building’s function has not been settled

German chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech about refugee policy at the Bundestag in Berlin on Wednesday. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Vienna will admit 3,200 migrants daily, but they must seek asylum in a neighbouring state

ECB governing council member Yves Mersch: He  agreed with the bank’s critics that the currency union was a liability union. Photograph:  Uli Deck/EPA

Court received 37,000 complaints arguing programme amounted to illegal financing

Reconstruction of the Amber Room in Catherine Palace, Saint Petersburg: Two German treasure hunters claim the priceless room panels, gifted by Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm to Tsar Peter the Great 300 years ago, are  hidden in  a Bohemian Castle’s cellar. Photograph:  Patrick Aventurier/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Priceless wall panels where stolen by Nazis from Leningrad during second World War

Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann, is one of  the loudest and most prominent critic of the ECB bond-buying programme.

Even though the bank has yet to activate the programme, it remains a bone of contention among prominent politicians and economists(...)

Assistants of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei decorate the columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus with lifejackets,  as part of an installation intended to remind people of the ongoing refugee crisis. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Angela Merkel’s policy defended after thinly-veiled criticism by French prime minister

German chancellor Angela Merkel with Amal and George Clooney at the chancellery in Berlin. Photograph: Guido Bergmann/Reuters/Bundesregierung

German chancellor receives rare praise for work on refugee crisis

Prison guard Angela Magdici and escaped inmate Hassan Kiko. Ms Magdici’s friend and husband say they knew nothing of the relationship or her plans and noticed no change in their friend.

Zürich authorities confirm prison break, with guard’s husband saying couple fled to Syria

Some analysts admit that Deutsche Bank may be the tip of what could be a very big and very dangerous iceberg. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Despite taking swift action, the German giant still finds itself putting out fires

Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning arrives for his trial at the court in Detmold, western Germany. Photograph:  Wolfgang Rattay/AFP/Getty Images

Opening trial of former Auschwitz camp guard (94) begins with scuffles outside courtroom

“At the moment we don’t have a system of law and order. It is reign of injustice,” said Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer to a Bavarian regional newspaper, a week after he irritated Angela Merkel  by meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Photograph: Sven Hoppe/EPA

CSU officials back their boss over asylum cap and tighter border controls

Rescue workers stand in front of two crashed trains near Bad Aibling in southwestern Germany. Photograph: Lukas Barth/Reuters

Bavarian death toll confirmed at 10

After record losses of €6.8 billion for 2015, markets are also concerned about Deutsche Bank’s ballooning legal bill.

Bank’s chief claims unease is misplaced but acknowledges impact of market volatility

Members of emergency services at the site of two crashed trains near Bad Aibling in southwestern Germany on Tuesday evening. The crash took place on a slope between a wood and a canal, difficult to reach by road, triggering a dramatic four-hour air rescue. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

Two regional trains carrying 150 people in total were travelling at about 100km/hour

 An ambulance next to an exit sign for Bad Aibling, Bavaria, near a train collision in  Germany. Photograph: Paul Winterer/EPA

Both trains reported to have derailed in incident in Bavaria

Jewrovision ‘is a small island, an attempt to help them preserve and develop a bit of Jewish identity’: Last year’s winners, Chadasch Mannheim. Photograph: Gregor Zielke/Zentralrat

Like Eurovision, the German song contest is a cheeky grab bag of songs and styles

People in costume celebrate carnival in Cologne on Thursday. The city is spending close to €500,000 on police, paramedics and new equipment after the sexual assults suffered by women on New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Maja Hitij/EPA

Tight security in place as annual festival takes place against backdrop of sex assaults

The premier of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, speaking during a press conference at the Bavarian representation in Berlin on Friday. Photograph: EPA/Rainer Jensen

Moscow visit causing alarm in Berlin amid growing tensions between Germany and Russia

Stockholm police talk to participants of a movement calling itself “The People’s Demonstration” which held a meeting and demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden. Photograph: Marcus Ericsson/TT/AFP/Getty Images

Warning comes after 100 masked men march in Stockholm over killing at refugee centre

A young man lights a candle on Wednesday at a makeshift memorial to a  Syrian man believed to have died  outside the central registration office for asylum seekers in Berlin. The story of the man’s death turned out to be a hoax. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Hundreds protested against Angela Merkel over fictitious abuction and rape of child

“It’s new that weapons of war are being used”:  the recovered M52 hand grenade  which had been thrown into a migrant home in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. Photograph: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

Ruling grand coalition agree new immigration Bill to tighten border controls

  Grzegorz Schetyna: Elected as new Civic Platform leader with 91 per cent of the vote.  Photograph: Radek Pietruszka/EPA

‘Enough of this embarrassment,’ says Grzegorz Schetyna, new leader of Civic Platform

Mohamad Salai, a refugee, walks through the refugee tent camp in Naestved, some 60 km south of Copenhagen. Niels Ahlmann Olesen/EPA

Large majority of Danish MPs back new immigration Bill after four-hour debate

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Danish prime minster Lars Loekke Rasmussen – Denmark is being heavily criticised for its latest move. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Police will be allowed to take assets and cash above €1,340 from asylum seekers

German chancellor Angela Merkel: The Christian Social Union (CSU), which is allied to Merkel’s governing CDU party, opposes her perceived “open door” policy on migration. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Chancellor seeks Europe-wide solution to crisis but may be forced to take local action

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