Keeping Germany posted: under financial pressure in 2005, Germany decided to sell (securitise) a future income stream from the privatisation of its post office in Dublin because Ireland was a centre for securitisation and its tax situation was more favourable

The innovative idea came a decade ago. Germany was the sick man of Europe, trapped in a vicious circle of negligible growth and spiralling debt, and g(...)

Germany agreed to meet the majority of pension obligations of former civil servants working for the previously state-run post office Deutsche Post – estimated to total up to € 550 billion. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

Germany was accused of “flogging the family silver” by state auditors for selling off future pension income through a Dublin-based special purpose (...)

Peer Steinbrueck: both he and his Social Democratic Party have been particularly vocal critics of Ireland’s tax laws. Photograph:  Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

German politician Peer Steinbrück – one of the fiercest critics of Ireland’s tax regime – used Irish letter box companies when finance minister to (...)

Members of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) arrive for preliminary coalition talks with Germany’s conservative (CDU/CSU) parties at the Parliamentary Society in Berlin today. Photograph: Reuters

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have vowed to put Ireland’s corporate tax rate and its opposition to an EU financial transaction tax onto the agenda (...)

A photograph of German chancellor Angela Merkel looks out from the front page of Bild on a newspaper stand following her election victory, in Corinth, Greece, yesterday.  Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

As her political rivals scattered like skittles, Angela Merkel bathed in the glow of her election triumph. The first euro zone leader re-elected since(...)

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor and party leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), speaks with supporters on stage during victory celebrations at the CDU headquarters after the German federal elections results were announced in Berlin. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

For many watching from Ireland, a triumph for Angela Merkel was not the result they were hoping for.But four more Merkel years is what they will get a(...)

The crowd watch on as German Social Democrats chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück speaks at a Berlin election rally. Photograph: Getty

Social Democrat (SPD) challenger Peer Steinbrück launched a final election push last night, warning that a victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sun(...)

Bavarian state premier and leader of the Christian Social Union Horst Seehofer gestures as he addresses his party members in Munich yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Michael Dalder

Allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel have admitted that Germany’s federal election is on a “knife-edge” after their Free Democrat (FDP) coalition partne(...)

Peer Steinbrueck, top candidate for Chancellor of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), in the upcoming German general election.

Germany’s opposition Social Democrats (SPD) have demanded an apology from chancellor Angela Merkel after she accused them of being “unreliable” in the(...)

Election campaign billboards featuring SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck and German Chancellor and CDU leader Angela Merkel  in Berlin, Germany. Photograog: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German federal elections are not for the faint-of-heart – or the colour blind. For the first time in decades, when the polls open for 60 million Germa(...)