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

People wait nearby a vehicle of the ‘Essener Tafel’ (Essen Foodbank) smeared with the word “Nazis” in Essen, Germany last month. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

One ‘Tafel’ has faced criticism for excluding migrants from new donations

Andrea Nahles (SPD) presenting  designated ministers Hubertus Heil,  Fraziska Giffey, Heiko Mass, Katarina Barley, Svenja Schulze and Olaf Scholz  at the party headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Photograph:  Reuters

SDP presents its six ministers almost six months after Germany’s federal election

Angela Merkel at the CDU headquarters in Berlin on Monday: “Almost six months after election day, people have a right to expect that something happens.” Photograph: John Mac Dougall/AFP/Getty Images

Chancellor says EU requires ‘a strong German voice together with France and other member states’

Andrea Nahles, designated SPD leader, announcing that the party has approved a plan to join Angela Merkel’s coalition. Photograph: Getty Images

One third of SPD rank-and-file argue the party has lost touch with core voters

SPD treasurer Dietmar Nietan and temporary party leader Olaf Scholz announcing at  party headquarters in Berlin that  members had voted for a new coalition.  Photograph: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Postal vote of centre-left SPD party sees backing for another grand coalition in Berlin

Andrea Nahles, parliamentary group leader of Germany’s SPD  gives a statement after the result was announced of the her party members’ referendum on whether or not to join a new coalition government.  Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/ AFP/Getty Images

Vote paves way for Merkel’s fourth term as chancellor after months of uncertainty

After months of post-election wrangling, big questions remain about Germany’s future

A parade float in Dusseldorf depicting  the exhaust scandal at  Volkswagen.  Photograph: Getty Images

Leaked government paper suggests public money be used to pay for retrofits

Andrea Nahles, parliamentary group leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD): is hoping to be the party’s first woman leader, but has stood aside as acting chairperson until the formal vote. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel

‘We need clear positions, courage and decisiveness,’ says hopeful leader Andrea Nahles

Detained without charge: Deniz Yücel hugs his wife, Dilek Mayatürk Yücel, after being released in Istanbul. Photograph: Veysel Ok/Twitter via Reuters

Berlin insists it struck no political deal to free Deniz Yücel

“Not satisfied with the sealed packages and bits of bone displayed elsewhere, Rome’s Basilica of Santa Maria displays a skull discovered in the early 1800s which it claims to be that of St Valentine himself, wearing a crown of flowers.”

Many European churches – besides one in Dublin – claim to hold relics of St Valentine

 Lawyer Remo Klinger: “Cars are for Germans what small arms are for the Americans. As soon as someone tries to do anything to limit the car, huge resistance builds up”

Berlin lawyer’s case will ask the question: do air quality laws exist on paper or in practice?

Angela Merkel says she felt bound to her campaign promise to serve a full term both as chancellor and CDU leader. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

German chancellor’s party critics have accused her of negotiating badly in coalition deal

Martin Schulz: has announced he will abandon his bid to become foreign minister in a new coalition government with chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty

Angry emails and party pressure force SDP leader to step down and suggest successor

Chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party  Andrea Nahles: says  coalition agreement carries a “big, fat social democratic signature”.  Photograph: Clemens Bilan

Andrea Nahles’s first task will be to sell the Merkel coalition deal to SPD members

Horst Seehofer, leader of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and Martin Schulz, leader of the social democratic SPD party. Photograph: Tobias Schwartz/AFP/Getty Images

Derek Scally: Three big parties eventually sign off on deal amid talk of post-Merkel era

Christian Democratic Union leader and German chancellor Angela Merkel, Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer (left) and Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz speaking in Berlin on Wednesday. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Social Democrats secure finance portfolio in talks with Angela Merkel’s CDU

Director Anne Zohra Berrached made 24 Weeks when she learned that about  90 per cent of Down syndrome pregnancies in Germany are terminated. Photograph: Michael Hübner

Anti-abortion campaigners link Down syndrome abortions to Nazi eugenics practices

A woman hangs out washing in her back yard on a line attached to a section of the Berlin Wall in August 1963. Photograph: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From 1961 to 1989, Soviet construct made sure ‘angst, discipline and conformity ruled’

Participants known as “lifeguards” at an anti-abortion protest march through Berlin. Photograph:  Markus Heine/SOPA Images/ LightRocket via Getty Images

The country’s vague regulations are stirring tensions with both camps seeking change

German chancellor  Angela Merkel needs SPD support in parliament to secure a fourth term and avoid fresh elections. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/DPA via AP

Stand-off over health and labour market reform stalls discussions to create government

Republic of Ireland fans in  Gdansk, Poland, for Euro 2012, with a bailout message for German chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

An official review of the two countries’ relationship is under way. It’s time to think anew

Screen grab of Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaking on his YouTube channel. English subtitles show him saying camps where millions of Jews were murdered in the second World were Polish.

Mateusz Morawiecki errors appear to break ban on blaming Poland for Nazi atrocities

 A computer-generated image  showing an Aldi store on the ground floor of a residential building which will be built in Berlin, Germany. Image: Aldi Nord/EPA

Plans will help city’s growing population, with almost one-third available as social housing

Under the proposed legislation, violators would face three years in prison for a mention of “Polish death camps.” Pictured is Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Photograph: Istock

Bill passed by senate makes it illegal to accuse Polish nation of complicity in the Holocaust

An ad for vegetarian sweets features a Muslim woman in a headscarf at Hauptbahnhof railway station in Berlin. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Arthur Wagner changes name to Ahmad and declares plan to unite Germans and Muslims

The industry lobby group EUGT, which commissioned and financed the research, hoped the results would show the modern German diesel caused less irritation in the monkeys tested.

Emissions tests showed VW fumes more harmful to animals than 20-year-old Ford’s

Volkswagen lobbyist Thomas Steg was suspended following  revelations of emissions tests on monkeys in the United States and 25 human volunteers in Germany, co-financed by VW.

Emissions tests on people and monkeys ‘wrong, unethical, repugnant’, says VW chief

Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie circa 1940.  Both were members of the non-violent White Rose resistance group against the Nazis. After their arrest for distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich, they were convicted of high treason and executed by guillotine. Photograph:  Authenticated News/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Hans Scholl flirted with Hitler Youth before he and sister Sophie were executed by the Nazis

A protester with  a sign reading Diesel-Abgase Toeten! (Diesel Emissions Kill) at  the ministry of transport in Berlin. Reports of  experiments with diesel pollutants on animals and people  have caused horror in German political circles. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Daimler, BMW and VW implicated as politicians react with horror to news of trials

The Beck brewery bottling plant in Bremen,  Germany. Photograph: Joerg Sarbach

Berlin duo achieve the transformation after spotting a loophole in bottle deposit system

A visitor to the Ikea museum in Almhult, Sweden, takes a photo of a portrait of the late Ingvar Kamprad, founder of  Swedish multinational furniture retailer Ikea, today. Photograph: Ola Torkelsson/TT News Agency/Reuters

Cost-conscious stores revolutionised furniture design and interior decoration

Leader of the German Social Democrats  Martin Schulz leaving the Konrad Adenauer building, the Christian Democratic Union  headquarters, after coalition talks  in Berlin. Photograph: John MacDougall/Getty Images

German parties promise ‘speedy’ talks after keeping voters waiting 123 days

Turkish army tanks  at  the Syrian border at Hassa: Germany exported €25.1 billion in arms last year, making it the  third-largest arms dealer. Photograph: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty

Use of German-built Leopard-2s in Syria sparks claim arms policy ‘morally depraved’

Udo Landbauer: “For me it’s clear these [extremist] songs were not sung,” he said on national television. “I’m not that much of a singer.” Photograph:   Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images

FPÖ’s Udo Landbauer was member of academic fraternity with extremist traditions

Mr Schrems said in going to a neutral court, Facebook will have to explain  whether its business model is in line with stringent European privacy laws

ECJ says Austrian privacy activist can take action as an individual against the company

AfD parliamentary group co-leader Alexander Gauland walks past German chancellor Angela Merkel in the Bundestag in Berlin. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Far-right party set to take role of chair of powerful budgetary committee

‘We try to address the fundamental themes in Joyce – birth, death, love, sex,’ says actor Ulrich Matthes

Joyce's famous work is getting a radical reworking in Berlin by director Sebastian Hartmann

Martin Schulz, leader of the German social democratic SPD party. On Monday he said he would take another week to work out his next steps. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Future of deal uncertain after SPD seeks further concessions from Angela Merkel

 Germany’s social democratic SPD party y wants to revisit issues blocked by Merkel allies the last time around: abolition of Germany’s two-tier, private-public health system and liberal migration controls. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Breakthrough does not assure the acting chancellor a fourth term, however

SPD chief Martin Schulz: “Now we will try to unite the party after this tough discussion.” Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images

SPD leader Martin Schulz hails close 56% yes vote for talks: ‘We are all relieved, of course’

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’

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