Former FBI director James Comey  backstage before a panel discussion about his book “A Higher Loyalty” earlier this week in Berlin. Photographs:  Carsten Koall/Getty Images

The former FBI director on Donald Trump, the 2016 US election, and history’s verdict

German chancellor Angela Merkel: if she fired interior minister Horst Seehofer, she would  collapse her fourth-term coalition after little more than 100 days.  Photograph; Christian Bruna

Row about asylum seekers sharpens between CDU and centre-right Bavarian allies CSU

Nina Hynes: ‘Our sense of worth became about how much we were earning, as opposed to valuing a piece of music or art on its own merits.’

Craw festival in Berlin will explore solutions to Ireland’s social problems

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron: Mr Macron envisions a €300 billion fund but Dr Merkel one of only “low double-digits”. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty

Despite vast differences on capacity of fund, Macron remains ‘pragmatic’ about numbers

Students at the Globe Business College in Munich. While Globe attracts students from all over the world many have gone on to study in Ireland

Set up in 2006 by Dubliner Susan Walsh, the Globe Business College in Munich is fostering Irish-Bavarian business relations

 Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte shakes hands with German chancellor Angela Merkel: exploration of a bilateral refugee deal. Photograph: Clemens Bilan

Emmanuel Macron to arrive in Berlin on Tuesday for latest round of crisis diplomacy

US president Donald Trump concludes his remarks at a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House in Washington, on Monday. Photograph:  Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Comments come amid heavy criticism over intensifying child separation row

German chancellor Angela Merkel: CDU conservatives opposed to her  refugee policies have welcomed the pressure on her from Horst Seehofer. Photograph: Christian Bruna

Chancellor denies CDU allies in Bavaria blackmailing her to back tougher asylum rules

Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler was arrested on Monday for his alleged role in the Volkswagen Group’s diesel cheating scandal

VW has backed and promoted Rupert Stadler despite calls for his resignation

Jaroslaw Kaczynski in July 2017. Mr Kaczynski was released from hospital earlier this month after more than a month in treatment, according to the health minister.  Photograph: Agencja Gazeta/Slawomir Kaminski/via Reuters

Jaroslaw Kaczynski last seen in public in April and was said to be suffering from arthritis in knee

 German chancellor Angela Merkel and  interior minister Horst Seehofer. If Mr Seehofer pushes through his tighter asylum rules as promised on Monday that will force Dr Merkel to fire him

The border question in Germany remains unresolved since the refugee crisis

On Monday, federal interior minister Horst Seehofer from Bavaria (above) will present a new migration plan to close German borders to asylum-seekers arriving from other EU countries. File photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Minister to present new plan to close borders to asylum-seekers arriving from EU countries

Craw is a new arts and performance festival launching this month in Berlin. Photograph:  Turlach O Broin

Arts event in Neukölln is about ‘clearing up our own backyard as emigrants’

Angela Merkel’s coalition is at risk after clashes with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer over Germany’s refugee policy. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Analysis: Hostility to Merkel’s open-door policy has put wind in the sails of CSU

German chancellor Angela Merkel and  leader of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer: Mr Seehofer has the backing of his party to push through his plan on Monday, which would force Dr Merkel to sack him. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Fake news tweet causes palpitations in Berlin as hectic weekend of shuttle diplomacy looms

Volkswagen faces up to €10 billion in civil suits brought by shareholders who accuse the company of failing to inform them in a timely manner of looming problems in the company.

Fine is largest ever imposed in Germany

The German flag flies in front of the Bundesbank HQ in Frankfurt. The pressing issue for Ireland in Germany is credibility. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

If Ireland is serious about Germany it will take it seriously, and on its terms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the Reichstag housing the Bundestag  after a meeting with the leadership of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Wednesday  in Berlin. Photograph:  Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty

Chancellor’s Bavarian allies defy her attempts to broker a compromise

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney: “Our bilateral relationship with Germany is, was and will be of utmost important to us,” he said at Berlin’s Humboldt University.   Photograph: Katia Christodoulou

Tánaiste says Germany’s history of division gives it insight into Irish Brexit concerns

Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the German government’s integration summit in  Berlin on Wednesday. Photograph: Jens Buttner/AFP/Getty Images

At least 10 CDU MPs speak out against chancellor in favour of tougher asylum rules

 Tánaiste Simon Coveney: “Internal challenges of British politics are not a matter for me.” Photograph:   Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste warns London not to let internal cabinet politics stymie Brexit talks progress

A weekend poll for ‘Bild’ suggested public opinion has finally tipped against the Angela Merkel on the refugee question. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP Photo

Under pressure both at home and abroad, Angela Merkel needs stable partners

 German chancellor Angela Merkel  and US president Donald Trump at  the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada on Friday. Photograph:  Clemens Bilan/EPA

US president’s torpedoing of G7 summit on Twitter was ‘sobering and a bit depressing’

President Michael D Higgins at the James Joyce grave in Fluntern cemetery, Zurich. Photograph: Maxwell’s

‘You started quite a while ago when enthusiasm for Joyce was not as strong as now’

Michael D Higgins addressing the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph: Maxwell’s

President warns against ‘uncritical pursuit of globalisation’ and ‘Davos’ capitalism

 German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a question and answer session at the German Bundestag in Berlin, Germany.  Photograph: EPA/Clemens  Bilan

German chancellor warns of deterioration in Europe’s relationship with US

German chancellor Angela Merkel talks to German national soccer players at Eppan, Italy. Photograph: Guido Bergmann/EPA

Chancellor caution in response to Emmanuel Macron’s desire for radical leap forward

German chancellor Angela Merkel: insisted the EU needed a harmonised asylum system with unified standards. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Government accused of corruption after 1,200 non-qualifying refugees granted asylum

De-Cix had argued that diverting copies of all fibre-optic communications on to BND servers was unlawful because German citizens’ communications were also saved

De-Cix sued BND and interior ministry over spying on 1,200 communication lines

A flodded area at the zoo in Lünebach, southwestern Germany, pictured on Friday. Photograph: Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images

Bear shot in Lünebach zoo after fleeing rising water but ‘missing’ big cats found in own enclosures

Has Bavaria’s new state premier, Markus Söder – a star pupil of the cute hoor school of politics – miscalculated? Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Move seen as masterstroke in polarising politics as state’s secularists seethe

Women in niqab at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, after the Danish parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public.

The fine for violating the ban on face coverings is 1,000 kroner (€134) for the first offence

 Traffic signs which ban diesel cars are installed by workers at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg.Photograph: Reuters

Move follows court ruling that cities breaching EU air quality limits must take action

 The grounds of the BND  in Berlin.  A former intelligence chief has warned that without telecommunication surveillance in Frankfurt and elsewhere the BND could “close up shop”. Photograph: Getty Images

De-Cix says BND taps at Frankfurt hub are illegal as they capture domestic communications

German interior minister Horst Seehofer: has announced plans to streamline asylum applications and collect new arrivals in so-called “anchor” centres. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke

Chancellor gives address 25 years after neo-Nazi arson killings of Turkish-Germans

Rudi Dutschke gives a speech at an anti-Vietnam war congress in 1968. Photograph: Getty Images

Rudi Dutschke led the student revolt in West Germany, but after an assassination attempt, he and his wife Gretchen found solace in(...)

Blocks of ice placed by activist group Reconquista Internet in front of the AfD headquarters in Berlin: they contain copies of Germany’s Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. Photograph: Filip Singer

Dozens of cultural and political associations plan to counter-protest at right-wing AfD

Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems displays his Facebook account’s updated terms page.  Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Facebook and Google face legal challenges based on GDPR

Privacy campaigner Max Schrems  accused the tech giants of ‘coercing’ users to accept data policies

European data protection bodies vow to work with Irish colleagues on complaints

Allgaeu airport in Memmingen: passengers with children await check-in or departure. Photograph:  EyesWideOpen/Getty

Pursuit of cheaper travel outside school holidays may land parents with steep fines

Supporters of  German anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Berlin on May 9th. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Wagenknecht and Lafontaine woo AfD working-class voters with #fairLand

GDPR  is a new EU regulation that updates and harmonises how data is gathered, processed, stored and used across the bloc

The General Data Protection Regulation is a 99-chapter piece of legislation that returns to people control of their personal data

The “Wave Gothic Meet-Up” – held over the Pentecost weekend – has been a fixture in the Leipzig calendar since just after German unification

‘Wave Gothic Meet-Up’ is a good-natured celebration of decay, decadence and death

Russian president Vladimir Putin  shakes hands with German chancellor Angela Merkel  during their meeting in Sochi on Friday. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

First thaw in relations frosty since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Ukraine conflict

The first United Nations World Bee Day will be held on May 20th. Photograph: Reuters/Yves Herman

Ruling follows growing debate about the consequences of chemical use in farming

The co-chairpersons of the right-wing populist ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) party’s parliamentary group, Alice Weidel  and Alexander Garland (front row), and others in the German ‘Bundestag’ parliament, in Berlin. Photograph: Hayoung Jeon/EPA

Merkel ignores Weidel’s criticism, saying Germany’s budgets reflect sustainable politics for future generations

European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality Vera Jourová: due to attempts to influence elections via social media,  “People do not have a chance to have a free choice because they are objects of manipulation.” Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Vera Jourová says countries must ensure laws facilitate ‘free political choices of people’

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Arsenal and Germany star Mesut Özil in London. Photograph: Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters

Özil and Gündogan pose with Turkish president reigniting debate about integration

A participant of the ‘Berlin wears a kippa’ movement. Photograph:  AFP/ Getty Images

Germany needs a booster injection for its ‘never again’ vaccine against the anti-Semitic virus

Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder hangs a cross in the entrance area of the state chancellery last Tuesday. Photograph:  Peter Kneffel/AFP/Getty Images

State premier Söder orders ministries and public offices to display a cross in entrance halls

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and US president Donald Trump during their fraught meeting in  Washington, in March 2017. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst

German chancellor has many topics to get through with a US president known for short attention span

Social Democratic Party’s Andrea Nahles is applauded: has been warned not to allow the party return to “artificial calm”. Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty

Andrea Nahles has softened leftist tone since serving as minister under Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, who said the German state would do “everything” for the security of Jews and people of Jewish origin in Germany. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Recording artists handing back Echo prizes following win by controversial rap duo

  Andrea Nahles  after she was elected SPD  leader in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Photograph: EPA/Clemens Bilan

One-third of SPD delegates decline to back candidacy of Andrea Nahles for leader

Facebook’s European headquarters in the Dublin docklands. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Irish data watchdog's approach is under scrutiny after recent revelations

Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel.  Merkel has announced plans to meet Putin ‘in the foreseeable future’. Photograph: Getty Images

Berlin is struggling to align its culture of restraint with its changing place in the world

A demonstration in Berlin in support of the victims of anti-Semitism. Photograph:  Lorena de la Cuesta/SOPA Images/ LightRocket via Getty Images

Many Jews in Germany fear intolerance among refugees and a resurgent native anti-Semitism

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel: Dr Merkel says she backs the idea of a common deposit insurance “not in the immediate, but the distant future”. Photograph: Carsten Koall

Paris and Berlin visions of European Union at odds over emphasis on euro zone

Caroline Staunton: ‘‘There’s nothing supernatural about opera, it just takes an awful lot of hard work’. Photographer: Adam Berry

Dundrum native Caroline Staunton has watched Ireland’s opera revival and is now contributing to the ambitious new Irish National O(...)

German musicians Farid Bang and Kollegah at the Echo music awards in Berlin. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

German rappers accepted Echo prize on day of remembrance for Holocaust victims

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe: ‘You don’t develop tax policy with reference to particular companies and that is an approach I will continue to maintain.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister meets German counterpart and urges EU to pursue banking union over tax harmonisation

German foreign minister Heiko Maas (above left) will travel to Dublin on Thursday to meet Tánaiste Simon Coveney, while German  finance minister Olaf Scholz (above centre) and his Irish counterpart Paschal Donohoe will meet in Berlin. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Plan likely to make clear a reboot of relations must engage with Merkel’s federal government

Hours after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg concluded his testimony before US politicians, his social network’s seven-year legal marathon in Ireland is entering its latest round before the Commercial Court. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Hearing concerns questions over transfer of EU user data from network’s Dublin HQ to US

 German chancellor Angela Merkel is hoping to  resolve tensions with her party’s restless coalition partner. Photograph: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

German chancellor summons new cabinet to castle outside Berlin to settle tensions

People light candles at the scene where two people died when a vehicle ploughed into a busy cafe and restaurant  in Münster,  Germany.  Photograph: Friso Gentsch/AFP/Getty Images

Police release six men detained on suspicion of planning an attack on Berlin’s half-marathon

The site where, on Saturday, a man drove into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in the old city centre of Münster. The placard reads “Why?”. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

German police decline to comment on reports man had criminal record and links to far-right groups

A tow truck removes a vehicle from the square where a man rammed his van into a crowd killing two and injuring several others in Münster, western Germany. Photograph: Marius Becker/AFP/Getty Images.

Twenty people seriously injured and woman (51), man (65) and driver (48) all dead

A policeman stands next to a police car behind warning tape in the inner city of Muenster. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

German man drove into beer garden in western city of Münster before taking his own life

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont poses with fellow politicians after a press conference in Berli. Photograph: EPA

Catalan leader says country needs mediator to try to address political crisis

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont leaves prison in Neumuenster, Germany on Friday after posting bail. Photograph: Jens Schlueter/EPA

Former Catalan leader urges Spain dialogue after being freed pending extradition proceedings

A supporter of Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont celebrates in front of the prison in  Neumünster where he has been held for almost two weeks, after a German court dismissed the rebellion charge in the European Arrest Warrant used to detain him. Photograph: Jens Schlueter/ EPA

Spain’s victory in securing arrest of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont now looks hollow

Charges faced by Carles Puigdemont over the organising of an illegal secession referendum in Catalonia carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years. File photograph: Getty Images

German court now has to decide whether to act on arrest warrant issued by Spain

A protest in Leipzig in 2004 against the then SPD government’s welfare cuts. Photograph: Jens Meyer/AP

In Berlin, where one in five is on the dole, talk of change is being followed closely

Benny Fredriksson: his  suicide has catalysed growing criticism of Sweden’s energetic #metoo campaign from prominent Swedish women and feminists.

Claims theatre director Benny Fredriksson was hounded by problematic accusations

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont: the final decision on whether to extradite him from Germany to Spain will be taken by the higher regional court in Kiel. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

Former Catalan leader arrested on Sunday on way back to self-imposed exile in Belgium

A full-page newspaper advertisment, taken out by Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman  of Facebook, to apologise for the data privacy scandal. Photograph: Getty Images

Data commission saw problems with justification for sharing Facebook data with developers

A protester gestures as he walks past riot police officers during clashes at a demonstration in Barcelona on Sunday night after Catalonia’s former president was arrested by German police. Photograph: Luis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Carles Puigdemont detained on European arrest warrant after crossing into Germany

Because Facebook and other tech giants have their international headquarters in Ireland, the Irish regulator has front-line responsibility for policing them.  Photograph: Getty Images

New EU rules will allow data-protection organisations to oversee the work of the DPC in Dublin

People protesting against a new government measure to further restrict abortions in Poland gather as part of “Black Friday” demonstrations  in Poznan on Friday. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Ruling conservative government is moving for a second time to tighten abortion laws

The ‘Test’ magazine gave top marks to German butter, including the cheapest varieties, and suggested price was not an indicator of quality in butter

Ornua says microbes discovered in the tested butter were not a health concern

AfD ridiculed for attacking kindergarten’s decision to celebrate its ‘calendar of cultures’

German chancellor Angela Merkel: hopes to have “friendly, close” relations with the UK in as many areas as possible.  Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

‘We support Ireland and the Border question without ifs or buts,’ says German official

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar inspect a guard of honour before  talks in Berlin. Photograph:  Tobias Schwarz/Getty Images

Warm welcome for Taoiseach from Angela Merkel

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty: he referred to the SCU  as the Government’s “spin unit’’. Photograph: The Irish Times

SF motion calling on Government to stand down unit has backing of other Opposition parties

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar address the media after talks at the chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday. AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

‘Germany supports the Irish position completely’ on Northern border, German chancellor tells Taoiseach after Berlin meeting

Brian Stack who was chief prison officer at Portlaoise Prison was shot in Dublin in 1983.

Taoiseach notes ‘inconsistency’ that ex-MP felt obliged to resign while Senator sidelined

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, in construction since 2006 is now considered a €6.6bn  running joke

Airport was set to open in 2012 until safety checks revealed defective smoke extractor system

German chancellor Angela Merkel . “It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.” Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Taoiseach’s inaugural official visit to Berlin a chance to explore growing EU reform debate

Max Schrems, who in August 2011 flagged the loophole that allowed apps installed by users of Facebook to ‘harvest’ data from their friends without their direct knowledge or explicit consent.

The loophole allowed a political firm to collect unauthorised data on millions of users

Marcin Warchol:  “It isn’t for the [CJEU] to decide whether or not reforms in this country are consistent with the rule of law or not, it’s completely out of its scope”. Photograph:  Karol Serewis/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images

Marcin Warchol: Would Ms Justice Donnelly refuse to surrender criminals to Germany or Spain?

French president Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel: “We have made clear in our coalition agreement that we are ready to provide more money for the EU budget,” says Dr Merkel.  Photograph:  Francois Lenoir/Reuters

German chancellor hints at mutualisation of debts if EU states improve competitiveness

A  Polish right-wing activist arrives at Keleti station on Wednesday to join a pro-Orban march. “By pumping up and co-opting Polish national fervour, PiS frames any criticism of its reform agenda as attack on itself as a broadside against national honour.” Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

High Court judgment will force EU to face a decision it has ducked for years

German chancellor Angela Merkel is sworn in as chancellor by the president of the German parliament. Photograph: EPA/Omer Messinger

Record number of government MPs refuse to vote chancellor back into office

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly of the High Court, whose decision to refer an extradition case to the European courts has angered Polish conservatives. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Mainstream media praises Aileen Donnelly’s referral of extradition case to Europe

Poland’s deputy justice minister Marcin Warchol and Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly. The High Court’s decision means extraditions to Poland from across the EU may come to a halt, according to Irish lawyers

Polish minister says Ireland delaying punishment of ‘serious drug mafia criminal’

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki: EU reform critics had only “random, fragmentary and partial information”.   Photograph: Rafal Guz

Judge’s decision based on legal changes in Poland shifts relations into uncharted waters

 German chancellor and Christian Democratic Union leader Angela Merkel with the secretary general of the Christian Social Union, Andreas Scheuer prior to the signing of the coalition agreement  in Berlin. Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

Minority partner pledges to take tougher approach to criminality from asylum seekers

Munich St Patrick’s parade grand marshal Ann Dempsey, parade princess Chiara Caravello, Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter and his wife Petra Reiter, Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton  and Irish Ambassador to Germany Michael Collins. Photograph: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Richard Bruton tells Germans Brexit has made Ireland more European in its outlook

The Reichstag building, seat of the German parliament Bundestag, in Berlin. While Andrea Nahles polishes the SPD’s left-wing brasses, Merkel is braced for CDU conservatives challenging the European reform agenda. Photograph:  EPA/Alexander Becher

Success of Merkel’s fourth term hinges on relationship with SPD figures Scholz and Nahles

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