Angela Merkel: “I am no judge or criminal investigator, I can only rule out that the federal government has ever made laws that insinuate that anything like that can be done.” Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that her government has never acted in a way that would encourage tax optimisation by companies operating in Germany(...)

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. Photo: EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

EU leaders have backed a plan for more punitive sanctions against Crimea, including a ban on European cruise ships docking in Sevastapol, as Russian p(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag that Ireland was a good example of how the economic approach pushed by Berlin could bear fruit. Ireland had “followed consequentially the path of reform” and was now “growing strongly, attracting investment with unemployment dropping step by step”, she said. “This shows what decisive action can achieve.” Photograph: Reuters

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has welcomed the move by the European Commission to extend a request for information on tax rulings to all 28 EU member states, a(...)

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker  with Taoiseach  Enda Kenny   at the start of the EU summit  in Brussels. Photograph: EPA

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has urged EU member states’ leaders to provide national top-ups for his new EU investment fund, conf(...)

Sister act: Dolly Parton’s sequinned dazzle achieves the same end in her world as Angela Merkel’s buttoned-down sobriety does in hers: it triggers emotional appeal. Photograph: Ian Gavan/Getty

After almost a decade in office Angela Merkel is both the most powerful and, perhaps, the most understated woman in the world. With a huge 96.7 per (...)

German chancellor and chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats   Angela Merkel  after she was re-elected as party chairwoman at the annual CDU party congress  in Cologne. Photograph:   Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German chancellor Angela Merkel has secured her 15th straight year as head of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with 96.7 per cent support, (...)

Repair men work to repair the electricity network after what locals say was a night of shelling in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Fighting in eastern Ukraine subsided on Tuesday as Kiev, Russia and Moscow-backed rebels in the region said they hoped for a prolonged ceasefire and t(...)

German Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann: argued “it is fanciful to believe that monetary policy tools can sustainably lift the growth potential of an economy”. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

In 2014, we have commemorated the 100th anniversary of the start of first World War and the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The fo(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel: “The commission has made clear that what has been put on the table so far is insufficient.” Photograph: Joerg Carstensen/EPA

Italy reacted angrily yesterday to demands from German chancellor Angela Merkel that it enact more reforms to bring its 2015 budget in line with EU fi(...)

French president Francois Hollande (left) addresses the media with the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in Astana on December 5th, 2014. Photograph: Reuters/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov

French president Francois Hollande will hold talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Saturday, the Kremlin said.The Kremlin gave no f(...)