Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland to launch at special signing ceremony in Dublin today attended by  German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photograph: Eric Luke

An initial tranche of €800 million is to be made available for lending to small and medium-sized businesses by the new State-backed Strategic Banking(...)

Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel in Bonn in 1992: “At state dinners she mooched around so much that, more than once, I had to tell her to pull herself together.” Photograph: Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images

Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl has said Angela Merkel, his protégée turned rival, was so inexperienced when he plucked her from obscurity in 199(...)

Poland’s new prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, delivers her policy statement at the Polish parliament in Warsaw yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Radek Pietruszka

Poland’s new prime minister, Ewa Kopacz, has promised to expedite economic reforms before next year’s general election, but said adopting the euro (...)

Military members from Nato countries that have had service members wounded or killed during operations hold flags of their nations prior to a moment of silence at the start of the Nato summit. Photograph: Alain Jocard/EPA

Amid the growing chill with neighbouring Russia, Finland and Sweden have agreed to tighten their ties with Nato. The decision of the two non-members (...)

Roland Mary, proprietor of Berlin restaurant Borchardt: “I don’t have a missionary zeal to give the city back something it lost, but I see a market for this – otherwise it wouldn’t work.” Photograph: Derek Scally

I’m sitting in the Berlin restaurant Borchardt, marvelling at the deceptive perfection of it all.The tablecloths are white and almost as crisp as the (...)

Peter Sutherland: Europe’s populist parties have been allowed  to frame migration as “people getting over borders” when it is more complex than that. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

UN special representative for migration Peter Sutherland has called on incoming European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to establish a commi(...)

German minister of defence Ursula von der Leyen and German minister for foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a press conference in Berlin yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Maurizio Gambarini

Berlin is ready to arm Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, the defence and foreign ministers announced yesterday.As the (...)

 German minister for foreign affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier: ‘Together with our European partners we are ready to make a contribution, such as an EU mission to oversee border crossings.’ Photograph: EPA/Julien Warnand

Germany has reacted cautiously to Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman’s call for Berlin to lead an EU inspection mission to Gaza.As a 72-hour (...)

A 2012 file picture of German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher  before a practice session  in Singapore. A man suspected of trying to sell Schumacher’s medical file has been found dead. Photograph: Diego Azubel/EPA

A Swiss man suspected of stealing Michael Schumacher’s medical records was found dead in his Zürich police jail cell on Wednesday morning.The man, an (...)

Poles have shown their support for local farmers by posting selfies of themselves eating  apples on Twitter

An apple a day keeps the doctor away; a Polish apple a day keeps Vladimir Putin annoyed – and Polish farmers in business. That is the idea behind an (...)