Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democratic Party: he and his grand coalition are facing a revolt from Kevin Kühnert (28), dubbed “babyface” by a German tabloid this week. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Country’s political future – and with it Angela Merkel’s future – hinges on Sunday’s meeting

Firefighters removing trees which fell on a high-speed train near Lamspringe, northern Germany on Thursday. Photograph:  Outswen Pfortner/AFP/Getty Images

At least eight people dead and estimated €500m damage to infrastructure

Acting German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at a memorial ceremony for the deceased former president of the German parliament Philipp Jenninger in Berlin. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Chancellor to be pressed about her appetite for EU reform

Mário Centeno: encouraged by German signals. Photograph: Bloomberg

Mário Centeno wants concrete progress during ‘unique window of opportunity’

German acting chancellor Angela Merkel and Austria’s new chancellor, Sebastian Kurz. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

In turn Austrian chancellor has a dig at Germany’s hardening immigration attitudes

President of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees  Jutta Cordt and interior minister Thomas de Maizière: “The federal office for migration and refugees is no longer preoccupied with managing the crisis consequences,” said Mr de Maizière. Photograph:  Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty

Refugee requests are down almost 80% from peak of 890,000 two years ago

Pack a small bag – booklet preps Swedes for war, terror attacks and pandemics

Kevin Kühnert, the leader of the youth wing of Germany’s social democrat SPD party, during a press conference on Monday. He argues that the coalition deal with Angela Merkel’s CDU involves swallowing too many “very bitter pills”. Photograph:   Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Dissent growing in party over terms of deal with Merkel’s CDU ahead of key meeting

Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of Germany’s conservative CDU party, and Martin Schulz, leader of Germany’s social democratic SPD party, at  a press conference in Berlin to announce their coalition. Photograph:  Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

Like three SPD leaders before him, Martin Schulz has taken a huge chance - for himself and his ailing party

Germany’s acting chancellor Angela Merkel and SPD leader Martin Schulz. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Spooked SPD officials are floating the idea of renegotiating the preliminary agreement

German chancellor and CDU leader Angela Merkel and SPD leader Martin Schulz shake hands in Berlin on Friday following all-night preliminary coalition talks. Photograph: Steffi Loos/Getty Images

Coalition parties name Irish-based tech giants in vow to tackle tax fraud and avoidance

Germany’s acting chancellor, Angela Merkel, flanked by CSU leader Horst Seehofer (left) and SDP leader Martin Schulz in Berlin on Friday following overnight coalition negotiations. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Difficult path to fourth term as chancellor awaits after ‘hard, turbulent’ CDU-SPD talks

The leader of the German Social Democrats (SPD), Martin Schulz,  during statements on Friday following all-night preliminary coalition talks in Berlin. Photograph:   Steffi Loos/Getty Images

Germany’s prospective partners gave EU first three pages of preliminary coalition deal

The leader of Germany’s social democratic SPD party Martin Schulz and acting German chancellor Angela Merkel are in talks to form a new government. Photograph: Getty

CDU and Bavarian CSU ally unable to form a government since elections in September

German acting chancellor Angela Merkel and the leader of Germany’s social democratic SPD party Martin Schulz. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Fears that a third grand coalition in 12 years could be lowest common denominator affair

Malvina and Diaa. Screengrab: kika.de

German far-right casts short film on children’s TV as manipulative ‘indoctrination’

Austria’s interior minister, Herbert Kickl, speaks to the media as he arrives for a cabinet meeting in Vienna on Wednesday. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Freedom Party has proposed interning asylum seekers in camps outside Vienna

Beatrix von Storch of Alternative for Deutschland: law has allowed her to stir up resentment against minorities and portray herself as the the victim of the politically correct “elite”. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo/Reuters

New law already used to ban AfD member from Twitter – but critics are lining up

 SDP’s Andrea Nahles: doesn’t shy away from tough talk on security and immigration, demanding a crack-down on refugees in Germany who lie about their identity or age. Photograph: EPA/Omer Messinger

These six emboldened young politicians are starting to breathe down elders’ necks

Acting German chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz before exploratory talks. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Merkel’s party is determined to cling to power, but the SPD is ambivalent

  Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel: the refugee question, which she  sprang on her own people two years ago, has come back to haunt her. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

After 100 days in limbo Angela Merkel begins talks on forming a government with the centre-left Social Democrats. Top of the agend(...)

Margo Lion und Gustav Gründgens performing in “Alles Schwindel” at Theater am Kurfürstendamm, Berlin, in 1931. Photograph: Theodor Fanta/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Berlin Letter: Major revival of forgotten Weimar-era operetta is proving a hit

German chancellor Angela Merkel: polls shows almost two-thirds of Germans agree she is still “a good chancellor”. Photograph: Michele Tantussi

CDU needs to offer major concessions to gain support of SPD leader Martin Schulz

Bavarian Prime Minister and head of the Christian Social Union (CSU) party Horst Seehofer arrives at Kloster Seeon. Photograph: Lukas Barth/EPA

Address by ‘authoritarian’ Viktor Orban seen as hardening of party stance on immigration

Carolin Matthie: “I have a plan if I’m attacked and that feels better.”  Photograph: Youtube screenshot

High-profile attacks have made some Germans insecure, but the crime data is complex

Germany’s acting chancellor Angela Merkel after the television recording of her annual new year’s speech. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Pool photo

German leader’s influence is diminishing as her country faces continued political limbo

Angela Merkel: after a 27-year career of being underestimated, no one should underrate her ability to make political lemonade from election-night lemons. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Angela Merkel has failed in her promise to leave the stage at a moment of her choosing

Former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel and CDU leader Angela Merkel. “Across western and northern Europe traditionally left-wing working-class voters are furious at Europe’s neo-liberal ‘anything goes’ status quo.” Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Far right mopping up votes as left drifts from traditional base, says SPD ex-leader

Sebastian Kurz: the 31-year-old  leader reiterated Austria’s commitment to the European Union. Photograph:  Reuters/ Leonhard Foeger

Sebastian Kurz’s comments were clear nod to his Eurosceptic coalition partner, the Freedom Party

European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans in Brussels on Wednesday. “If you put an end or limit the separation of powers, you break down the rule of law, and that means breaking down the smooth functioning of the union as a whole,” he said. Photograph:  Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

‘Article 7’ invoked by Brussels over concerns Warsaw’s reforms undermine rule of law

A woman places a candle at the memorial at the site of last year’s truck attack in a Christmas market, which killed 12 people and injured many others, at Breitscheidplatz square in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Memorial comes amid criticism from victims’ families of bureaucracy, government apathy

The truck that crashed into a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19th, 2016.  Twelve people were killed in the  terror attack, with the German government since criticised for how it has treated  relatives. Photograph:  Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Empathy is what family of Berlin Christmas market dead say is lacking in wake of attack

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz:  “We will do what we think is correct.” Photograph: Bloomberg

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz signals plan to reset ‘incorrect refugee and migration policy’

 Austrian chancellor to be Sebastian Kurz of the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP). “We’ll fight for our interests, for our views, but in the EU we will respect decisions.” Photograph: Getty Images

New programme for coalition government promises to prioritise ‘our citizens’

Austrian conservative Sebastian Kurz (31) feels he has a mandate for change in a continent destabilised by politicians twice his age. Photograph: Alex Halada/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis: Right/far-right coalitions within realm of possibility in other EU countries

An ancient book with Jewish text, part of the “Welcome to Jerusalem” exhibition in  Berlin.  The diverse challenges Jerusalem faces are presented in historical displays, artistic reactions and medial staging. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Challenge was presenting five millennia of history – 55 attacks, 23 sieges, two levelings – in 15 rooms

French president Emmanuel Macron and Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki ahead of a bilateral meeting at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels on Friday. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

New PM Mateusz Morawiecki draws parallels with post-Vichy France and post-Franco Spain

  German chancellor Angela Merkel and SPD leader Martin Schulz:  The centre-left SPD wants greater social and infrastructure spending and reform of the two-tier health system. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

SPD party suggests ‘co-operation’ coalition to support chancellor’s fourth term in office

Police attend site of an attack near a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, on December 9th. Photograph: Adam Ihse/Reuters

Anti-Semitic chants in Berlin, Gothenburg and Vienna in wake of US Jerusalem decision

German chancellor Angela Merkel (right) in Berlin central station  after riding in the  driver’s cockpit of the new high-speed ICE train. Photograph:  EPA

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn optimistic new Berlin to Munich rail link will revolutionise travel in Germany

Revellers at the Love Parade in Duisburg on July 24th, 2010, at which 21 people died and 640  were injured in a  stampede. Photograph: Daniel Naupold

Six Duisburg city officials and four staff of organisers in court over mass stampede

A decade ago, Matthias Wissman became head of the VDA, the German auto industry’s lobby group, a high-profile position requiring guile, brass neck and an enviable contacts book. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Chief of auto industry lobby group VDA says German carmakers still well regarded abroad

Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrat Party (SPD), after delivering his speech during the SPD’s federal party convention in Berlin on Thursday. Photograph:  Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

SPD leader urges closer EU integration and describes Ireland as ‘accomplice’ in Apple tax case

U2 busking on the U2 underground train line in Berlin. Photograph: U2/Instagram

Band performs 15-minute set on platform to promote new album ‘Songs of Experience’

Martin Schulz, leader of Germany’s social democrat SPD party. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Neither the SPD nor the CDU want to go back to voters for fear the AfD’s rise will accelerate

Poland’s prime minister Beata Szydlo greeting finance minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who is tipped to succeed her, in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photograph: Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta

Mateusz Morawiecki, a one-time honorary Irish consul, favourite to succeed Beata Szydlo

 A man reaches for another participant as they dance in front of a giant European flag during the monthly pro-EU rally titled “Pulse of Europe” in Berlin. The citizens’ initiative was founded to encourage EU citizens to promote a “pan-European” identity. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Women campaigning for European integration win prize

Bavarian finance minister Markus Söder (right, as Marilyn Monroe)  hopes to leverage his personal popularity in Bavaria to revive the CSU’s fortunes. Photograph: David Ebener/EPA

Bavarian allies may cause headache for Merkel after rise of dress-up fan Markus Söder

A sign in a shop owned by Jewish people in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Visual Studies Workshop/Getty Images

Pascale Hugues proves that the best stories really are lying around on the streets

The Staatsoper under construction: The state opera house was supposed to reopen four years ago at a cost of €240 million. Instead it has taken twice as long and, at €400 million, has proven almost twice as expensive. Photograph: Gordon Welters

Destroyed and rebuilt three times in three centuries, the Staatsoper is a copy of a copy

A policeman with a fire extinguisher over his shoulder walks next to a police car in front of a Christmas market stall in Potsdam,  after it was evacuated by policeon Friday. Photograph: Felipe Turela/EPA

Police in Potsdam say ‘unconventional explosive device’ was incapable of exploding

Martin Schulz, German leader of the Social Democratic Party. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

Leader Schulz adopts bad cop role and makes demands to win over party sceptics

The leader of the Social Democrats, Martin Schulz (right) arrives for talks with chancellor Angela Merkel, hosted by German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on left.  Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Party leaders obliged to negotiate from unenviable position of weakness, not strength

US president Donald Trump’s Twitter accounts: communication link with his 43.5 million followers was temporarily suspended. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Bahtiyar Duysak says complaints process led to 11-minute stalling of US president account

Privacy activist Max Schrems , whose new project, noyb, is gathering funding via a Kickstarter-like platform until January. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Privacy activist is creating a non-profit organisation to fight for data protection

German  chancellor Angela Merkel and agriculture minister Christian Schmidt have been criticised for backing a five-year license for European use of the herbicide glyphosate. Photograph: AFP / John MacDougall

Approval of five-year licence for European use of glyphosate herbicide sparks divisions

 Two policewomen walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market on its opening day at Breitscheidplatz, a year after 11 people were killed in a terrorist attack. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

Extra security measures underline unease lingering since December 2016 lorry killings

Acting German chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Challenges at home and in Europe make it ‘desirable to form government very quickly’

Martin Schulz: shift follows annoyance among senior SPD figures at his haste in pushing for fresh elections before considering other options. Photograph: Stefanie Loos/EPA

Two months after poll, there is cross-party agreement on the risks of another election

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier meets SPD leader Martin Schulz. Photograph: Jesco Denzel /Government’s Press Office

Martin Schulz holds talks with president as figures in party back grand coalition

Construction workers outside  Berlin Brandenburg International airport  in May 2016. A new report suggests that fire safety issues may delay its opening further. Photograph:  Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Project turned to farce by political interference, chaotic planning and sloppy building

Berlin’s Holocaust memorial, pictured prior to its official opening in 2005. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/AP

Political activists place installation next door to home of Alternative für Deutschland politician

Angela Merkel  of the Christian Democratic Union talks to the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz. Photograph: Christian Bruna

SPD faces dilemma in seeking fresh elections if grand coalition as likely after poll as now

cting finance minister Peter Altmaier told the German parliament Ireland had fulfilled all conditions of its EU/IMF programme and was part of a rescue “success story” that included Spain and Portugal.

Social Democratic Party opposes move which will save exchequer estimated €150m

Uncertain times: German chancellor Angela Merkel reflects at a CDU/CSU parliamentary group meeting at the Bundestag in Berlin. Photograph: Reuters/Axel Schmidt

German chancellor faces uncertain future after coalition talks collapse

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group at the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Collapse of talks casts uncertainty over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s future in office

Merkel’s mistrust of Christian Lindner, above, as a gifted speaker with a populist streak only grew as the weeks passed. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

The chancellor looks jaded from coalition talks and still has no clear path to power

Angela Merkel, standing with leading members of her party, speaks to the media after preliminary coalition talks collapsed on Sunday. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Liberal Free Democrats unexpectedly walk out of ‘chaotic’ talks with CDU and Greens

Rival operating systems: most people are too busy to look beyond Windows (left) and macOS (right), but Linux (centre) is worth making time for

Linux is everywhere – and will free your computer from corporate clutches

Shiv Malik is a journalist and former investigative reporter for the Guardian, a prominent voice across the British media on radicalism

British journalist Shiv Malik fails to address many of the troubling questions behind the ‘dangerous fraternisation’ between a rep(...)

Berlin deadlock: German chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the 15-hour marathon talks session on Friday morning. Photograph: Stefanie Loos/EPA

Despite the chancellor’s brave face, the mood in her inner circle is black

A Kuwait Airways Boeing 777-300ER. In its ruling the judge said transporting the Israeli citizen would have caused legal repercussions for the airline and the crew back in Kuwait, because of a state boycott of Israel. Photograph:  Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

Ruling that man could not be discriminated against because of nationality causes outrage

Germany’s Social Democratic Party is pressing for the German parliament, the Bundestag (above), to block Ireland’s plans for an early repayment of bailout loans totalling €5.5 billion. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Social Democratic Party pushing for Bundestag to block Ireland’s early repayment plan on loans worth €5.5 billion

German chancellor Angela Merkel: only if the exploratory talks end in a successful engagement will proper coalition talks begin. Photograph: AFP / DPA / Michael Kappeler

Time and options are running out for the German chancellor to ensure the so-called Jamaica alliance has a chance

No one knows who puts the mincemeat near the train tracks at Berghausen, mostly on Mondays near the fence, and no one knows what it means. Photograph: istock

Raw mince deposits near the train tracks in Berghausen have stumped police and locals

German Federal Security Council has approved the controversial delivery of two patrol boats to Saudi Arabia in January 2017. Photograph: Jens Koehler/EPA

Opposition party accuses government of prioritising money over strategic priorities

A surveillance camera photo from the State Criminal Police of Lower Saxony  shows masked perpetrators, suspected to be RAF members, during a robbery in Hildesheim, Germany, taken on May 7th, 2016.  File photograph:  Police handout/EPA

Three are last members of notorious left-wing terror group, still living undercover

Max Schrems: the Austrian activist’s Facebook case has its origins in a 2011 complaint he filed to the Data Protection Commissioner in Dublin.

Final ECJ ruling in case taken by Austrian lawyer to be given at later date

Coplaintiff lawyers want the 27 attempted manslaughter charges being heard in the commercial court to be upgraded to an attempted murder trial

In recent months five former customers of the accused’s pharmacy business have died

Polish nationalists carry a flag with the message “Death to the enemies of the homeland” as they take part in the march for Polish Independence Day in Warsaw. Photograph: Bartlomie J Zborowski/EPA

Israel alarmed by march and urges Polish government to react

An open-pit lignite mine near Drebkau in Lusatia, Germany. Photograph: Seán Gallup/Getty

Plan to cut Germany’s CO2 emissions goes astray as reliance on ‘brown coal’ continues

A police officer on duty in the German capital. Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt has dismissed allegations of gang infiltration as “patently” false and unfounded. Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

German capital’s law force riven by claims of racism and gang informer infiltration

Niels Hoegel: before his second trial the nurse told a forensic investigator he was “addicted to this feeling of having done something good, a feeling that sometimes lasted days”. Carmen Jaspersen/AFP/Getty Images

Tally would make Niels Högel (40) the most prolific serial killer in Europe

Russian historian Pavel Polian has reconstructed 90 per cent of Marcel Nadjari’s eye-witness report from inside the Nazi extermination machine.

Marcel Nadjari who died in 1971 secreted in flask his eye-witness account of mass murder

Vanja, an intersex person  registered as a female: Vanja’s case in the German courts has resulted in a  ruling to have the intersex gender recognised. Photograph: Peter Steffen/AFP/Getty Images

Constitutional court rules 80,000 intersex people in Germany can register their gender

Angela Merkel in reflective pose: she may find her conservative allies to be her greatest headache whenever a government is formed. John Mac Dougall/AFP/Getty Images

Greatest wild card for chancellor may now be the CSU, her long-term Bavarian sister party

Matthias Mueller, chief executive of Volkswagen: over 15,000 German diesel owners are hoping for a €250m payout after joining class action lawsuit. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Cases separate to €9bn compensation claim by shareholders over car diesel manipulation

A sculpture of Auguste Rodin at the Gurlitt exhibition,  in Bonn, Germany, this week. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP Photo

Notorious Gurlitt art collection includes lost works by Renoir, Cézanne and Monet

Gazal (17) a refugee from Syria, sits down to  lunch that her classmates prepared during their extra-curricular German-language programme at a Berlin school on Thursday. Photograph:  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

More than 30,000 people refused asylum have reportedly vanished and are likely to be living illegally

German chancellor Angela Merkel at  Martin Luther’s grave at the Castle Church in Wittenberg: “Whoever values diversity has to practise tolerance, that is the historical experience of our continent,” she said. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

500 years after Martin Luther nailed up his theses, he may be seen as father of austerity

Sebastian Kurz, the 31-year-old leader of the Austrian People’s Party, is likely to be the next chancellor. Photograph: EPA/Christian Bruna

Sebastian Kurz hoping for a swift agreement on a programme for government

The 48-year-old Belfast man was extradited from the Republic of Ireland last December to face charges.

James Anthony Oliver Corry convicted over 1996 attack on British army barracks in Osnabrueck

Outgoing finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble goes to take his place after he was elected president of the Bundestag on Tuesday.  Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Crowded and lively German parliament sits for first time since election in September

Angela Merkel: Her previously unquestioned leadership is now under fire. Photograph: Omer Messinger

German chancellor looks to untested alliance with Greens and Free Democrats

 Sebastian Kurz arrives for a TV discussion, in Vienna, Austria. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Sebastian Kurz continues to polarise as he looks set to become the next Austrian leader

German chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during an EU  summit in Tallinn, Estonia. Photograph: Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images

Angela Merkel insists she has options, but her party’s match has already been made

Former Hypo Real Estate chief executive Georg Funke, pictured in a Munich court in March 2017. The case was settled today. Photograph: Christof Stache / AFP

German prosecutors drop fraud charges against ex-managers of bailed-out lender

Wolfgang Schäuble, who departs  the German finance ministry after eight years to become the next Bundestag president. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Veteran politician takes over as Bundestag president at critical juncture in parliament’s history

Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, newly elected parliamentary party leaders of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), make a statement after a first meeting of the  parliamentary group at the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus parliamentary building in Berlin on September 26th, 2017. Photograph: Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty Images

Co-leader Frauke Petry says is quitting in protest at extremist language in far-right party

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