Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt  warned western leaders against pushing for military action in Ukraine, saying this would “possibly stimulate the Russian appetite”. Photograph: EPA/Maurizio Gambarini

Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt has attacked the West’s Crimea strategy and described Russia’s annexa(...)

German chancellor  Angela Merkel with Russian president Vladimir Putin. “She risks conflict with an influential section of the German political, media and business elite which, since the start of the crisis, has portrayed President Vladimir Putin as a Russian bear with a thorn in its paw: someone who needs sympathy, not sanctions.” Photograph: Reuters/Thomas Peter

For eight years Angela Merkel’s political trademark has been cautious, incremental politics – even in the most dramatic moments of euro crisis.(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel with Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2012. During a weekend of telephone diplomacy, Merkel told Putin he had “breached international law with his unacceptable intervention in the Crimea”. Photograph: Reuters/Thomas Peter

For the 14 years they have known each other, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin have gotten on like cat and dog. Their public remarks strain the (...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on crutches following a skiing accident, in Berlin yesterday, where she told German MPs “stronger European institutions” are essential. Photograph: Seán Gallup/Getty Images

German chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Europe still needs a “quantum leap” in further economic integration if it wants to put the euro crisis(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel  is congratulated by her outgoing chief of staff Ronald Pofalla after being re-elected in a vote session at the Bundestag. Photograph: David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images

Ronald Pofalla was chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-hand man, a low-profile but well-networked operator who served as her chancellery chief of staff i(...)

Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel delivers a speech during its regional party conference in Nuremberg on December 1st. Photograph: Timm Schamberger/EPA

Red scarves knotted against the bitter cold, hundreds of SPD rank-and-file members scurry along the dark Hamburg street.Passing a sign for a “friendsh(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel with the head of the BMW plant in Leipzig, Manfred Erlacher. Photograph: Peter Endig/AP

While Angela Merkel hunts for a coalition partner, her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has confirmed it received a €690,000 donation from the family (...)

Corridors of power: seven key spots in the city. Illustration: John Cassidy

After half a century in Bonn, Germany’s federal government packed its bags and, on September 6th, 1999, raised the curtain on the Berliner Republik.An(...)

SPD Bundestag MP Mechthild Rawert during her door-to-door campaign in Berlin’s Mariendorf neighbourhood

The sticker on the door is unambiguous: “We are already insured against everything. We don’t want to be saved by a sect and we already have a vacuum c(...)

Katja Kipping, chairwoman of the Left Party, said it seemed that the “SPD or Greens are more willing to be vice-chancellor under Merkel than embrace a real political shift with us”. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

With 10 days to the federal election, Germany’s Linke (Left Party) has nosed ahead of the Green Party as the country’s third-strongest party. A poll f(...)

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