Thousands of students take part in a demonstration against climate change, in Berlin, Germany, on Friday. Photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

Berlin march the biggest yet, with support from teachers, parents and leading scientists

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte (right) greets president of the European Council Donald Tusk in The Hague,  on Friday. Photograph:  Bart Maat/EPA

Dutch prime minister vows to do ‘absolutely nothing’ until UK outlines departure timetable

German chancellor Angela Merkel: she is increasingly deferring to her successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Photograph:  Tobias Schwarz/AFP

Shifting political sands have led some to query Angela Merkel's lingering exit

CDU’s  Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer: “European centralism, European statism, communitising debt and Europeanising social security systems and minimum wage would be the wrong approach.” Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

Kramp-Karrenbauer backs Schengen border security boost and call for ‘renaissance’

People pray by the restored monument of  late Fr Henryk Jankowski in Gdansk: supporters accuse Polish liberals of a witch hunt  against traditional Catholic values. Photograph:  Agencja Gazeta/Bartosz Banka

Ex-Solidarity chaplain Fr Henryk Jankowski subject of claims of abuse and anti-Semitism

German car companies argue there was nothing illegal in their meetings to agree “clean diesel” norms.

BMW, VW and Daimler face heavy penalties over agreed practices

Cars on a production line at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Some 60% of carmakers have already replaced their British suppliers due to Brexit. Photograph: Reuters

Up to 750,000 jobs hinge on free trade with fifth most important trading partner, the UK

Graffiti on a  disused Litfasssäule on a  Berlin street declares “Save this pillar!”  Photograph: Derek Scallly

Berlin Letter: Much-loved street advertising posts to be replaced after 164-year history

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), speaks during the traditional Ash Wednesday party meeting in Demmin. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

The German chancellor laying low, but new CDU leader’s bad jokes getting attention

President of Poland Andrzej Duda and  director of the Polin Dariusz Stola: the national conservative Law and Justice government has complained the museum is too political. Photograph:  Celestino Arce/NurPhoto

Sited on former ghetto, Polin Museum is accused of hosting overly political exhibitions

Theresa May and Angela Merkel in Berlin, December 2018. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Is the uncharacteristic sangfroid in the face of Brexit based on mistaken assumptions?

Activists in Poland pull down a statue  in Gdansk on Thursday of Fr Henryk Jankowski, who allegedly sexually abused minors. Photograph: Bartek Sabela/Gazeta Wyborcza/AP

Activists say Polish church failed in resolving the country’s problem of sex abuse by clergy

British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt attends a press conference after a meeting with  Heiko Maas  in Berlin. Photograph:  EPA/ Adam Berry

UK foreign secretary uses Merkel’s own arguments to appeal for help in ensuring a deal

Karl Lagerfeld has died aged 85. Photograph: Jacky Naegelen/AFP

Arguably the most influential German man in the world, his life story was his greatest creation

German chancellor Angela Merkel: address effectively declared a state of emergency in transatlantic relations. Photograph: Toshifumi Kitamura

German leader gets standing ovation after airing US grievance list at security forum

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as Gretel in 2017. During that  turn, Gretel told her cheering audience about Donald Trump: “If they’d asked us ... they’d not have elected that twit.” Photograph: YouTube

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will arrive on stage this Sunday for some straight talking

August, 1980: Lech Walesa, leader of the Polish Trade Union Solidarity, who wenton strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk. File photograph:  Keystone/Getty Images

How the fall of the Berlin Wall began in a beautiful Baltic port city in Poland with the Solidarity movement

White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a plenary session at the Middle East Summit in Warsaw: Photograph: Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta

Warsaw forum told trade with Tehran threat to sanctions against ‘murderous’ regime

Mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz  was fatally stabbed onstage at a charity concert in the city last month. Photograph: Simon Krawczyk/AFP/Getty Images

Station says it is making ‘an exception in the case of the widow’ as she is in mourning

A photograph of murdered Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz against candles left by mourners on January 17th. Photograph:  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Pawel Adamowicz’s sibling believes he was the target of a public media hate campaign

Floating excavators prepare an underwater trench for Nord Stream 2, close to Lubmin, Germany, in 2018. Photograph: Reuters/Axel Schmidt

French concerns about reliance on Russia for energy salved as Germany agrees to regulate

German chancellor Angela Merkel and BND president Bruno Karl during the official opening of the intelligence service’s  new headquarters in Berlin. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AFP/Getty Images

Project has taken 11 years to complete, and has been dogged by theft and cost overruns

Police officers lift  a woman from the crowd   at the Love Parade  in  Duisburg, Germany,  on July 24th, 2010. A stampede killed 21 people after mass panic broke out at  the techno music festival. Photograph:   Reuters

Relatives of 21 people killed are outraged after judge says there is not enough evidence

Struggling in polls, and facing three state election disasters in 2019, SPD leader Andrea Nahles has promised measures to make welfare fairer for its traditional core electorate. Photo: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

Germany’s oldest political party gripped by existential crisis following election disasters

The grotto where 15-year-old schoolgirl Ann Lovett died with her newborn baby in Granard, Co Longford, on January 31st, 1984. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

What made many Irish men treat women as badly as they did?

Auschwitz Concentration Camp in  Poland:  Stella Goldschlag aka ‘Blonde Poison’ prowled the streets of Berlin hunting down Jews for 300 reichmarks a head. Photograph: AP

Berlin Letter: Stella Goldschlag dreamed of film stardom, but betrayed her fellow Jews

Former mayor of Slupsk Robert Biedron: was one of Poland’s most trusted leaders long before he unveiled a political party called Wiosna. Photograph: Jakub Kaminski

Gay politician’s new party targets progressive, left-oriented Poles with pro-EU message

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “There are definitely options for preserving the integrity of the single market even when Northern Ireland isn’t part of it because it is part of Britain while at the same time meeting the desire to have, if possible, no border controls”. Photograph:  Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool Photo via AP

David Trimble plans to take UK government to court over backstop agreement

Snow falls on a Berlin thoroughfare at the weekend. With little notice, a new speed limit regime has been imposed on many Berlin streets. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

German city trying everything to dodge emissions order banning older diesel vehicles

German chancellor Angela Merkel said East Germany’s centralised economy made it easier to crack open gender roles. Photograph: Adam Berry/EPA

German chancellor opens up about her political life as a woman and an East German

Charlotte Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor, speaks at the Bavarian parliament in Munich, Germany. Photograph: Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP

German far-right party criticises ‘defamatory’ address to Bavarian parliament

 German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron talk with German and French citizens after signing the Aachen Treaty in  Germany. The treaty is meant to deepen co-operation between the countries as a means to also strengthen the European Union. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

Move to revive motor at heart of EU project

Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz: Warsaw political observers say he has no political base and little connection to party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Photograph: Robert Ghement

Polish foreign minister says London, Dublin ‘playing chicken’ over post-Brexit border

An activist distributes flyers for the far-right AfD party in Berlin.  It has been reported that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency may place the AfD  under full surveillance, sparking shockwaves in an election year. File photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Report is a further stage towards full state scrutiny of far-right party’s leaders and communication

“We think that it is up to the British side ... to tell us how things move on from here,” German chancellor Angela Merkle said on Wednesday. Photograph:  Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

Merkle says she regrets deeply vote result on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement with EU

People mourn the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, who died on Monday from stab wounds received at a charity event. Photograph: Wojciech Strozyk/AP

Killing is low point in modern Poland and its sundering post-communist consensus

The alarming numbers – and language – have challenged the verbal discipline Chancellor Angela Merkel  imposed on her own backbenchers and German business managers in 2016.  Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

No-deal Brexit could spell chaos for German manufacturers and exporters, study warns

 Pawel Adamowicz: a progressive voice who supported sex education in schools, LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. Photograph: Jan Rusek Agencja Gazeta via Reuters

Pawel Adamowicz (53) suffered wounds to heart and abdomen in charity event attack

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies will be reviewed by her CDU successor, and chancellor presumptive, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Photograph: Reuters

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer flags tougher line to recover public trust and party voters

Mountain officials prepare a controlled explosion  in Val Thorens ski resort in the French Alps. Photograph:  Getty Images

Austrian Alps avalanche claims lives of men as region is hit by worst snow in 20 years

Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Löfven is set to serve another term. Photograph Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Centre-left Social Democrats hit confidence-and-supply deal with centre-right parties

A file photograph, taken in December 2010, of the 100kg gold coin worth €3.7 million stolen from a Berlin museum in March 2017. Photograph: Marcel Mettelsiefen/AFP/Getty Images

100kg coin worth €3.7 million believed to have been melted down shortly after theft

Alternative Für Deutschland politician Frank Magnitz   had allegedly been beaten with a “piece of timber” and kicked as he lay on the ground in Bremen. Photograph: Fabian Sommer/AFP/Getty Images

Party has taken opponents’ hesitation as proof of double standards over political violence

Tim: As a result of his condition, as well as lack of after-birth care, he  suffered from several medical conditions. Photograph: Simone Guido

Tim, who had Down syndrome, was adopted by foster parents who became campaigners

People putting  snow chains on their cars  during heavy snowfall near Untertauern, Austria. Photograph: . EPA/Christian Bruna

Eight people have been killed and others are missing as Austrian civil authorities warn citizens to stock up on supplies

The suspect published the leaked data on the Twitter accounts “G0d” and “0rbit. Photograph:  Clemens Bilan/EPA

20-year-old student working in bedroom admits being behind huge leak of personal data

The German interior ministry in Berlin. Federal investigators said they had searched the apartment of a witness in the southern city of Heilbronn. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Investigators say they have questioned several people in relation to mass data hack

German chancellor Angela Merkel: data hacked includes information such as mobile phone numbers, photos of IDs and personal chat histories. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

Hundreds of politicians and media figures caught in Germany’s biggest data dump

A customer pays for a hot dog in Frankfurt at the start of  2002. The euro’s introduction is remembered as an unsentimental quid pro quo. Photograph: AP/Wolfram Steinberg

Stability of euro key to Berlin amid external pressures on EU from China and the US

About 90 per cent of the total energy tax is generated by sales of petrol and diesel. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tax introduced by SPD-Green coalition led to rise in fuel prices by 20% in first four years

Final farewell: Angela Merkel is preparing to leave the political stage. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AFP/Getty

The underestimated easterner steered Germany through crisis. But her pact with voters finally shattered

Berlin. The German cabinet has approved new labour laws.

Country has a shortage of qualified labour

The article “Jaegers Grenze” (Hunters’ Border) co-written by  Claas Relotius in an issue of Der Spiegel. Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

Journalist resigns after flaw exposed in otherwise ‘perfect’ stories – they weren’t true

Berlin Bundestag: An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 people in Germany identify as intersex.

Law facilitates document to be changed retrospectively if wrong gender first registered

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of the CDU. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Kramp-Karrenbauer, who wants to win back conservative voters, opposed to law change

Angela Merkel and Theresa May in Berli on Tuesday. The German chancellor told deputies after their meeting she could envision offering additional “securities” to the UK but would not consider reopening the withdrawal treaty. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

However senior officials decline to confirm support would remain in the future

British prime minister Theresa May and  European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Reuters/Yves Herman

Juncker says there is ‘no room whatsoever’ for renegotiation of the withdrawal treaty

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is not interested in a cabinet position and wants to focus instead on building her power base in the party. Photograph: Focke Strangmann/EPA

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer must grasp the nettle of migration while building power

King of the road. The pedestrian lights in Friedberg, Germany, honouring the town’s famous former resident, Elvis Presley.

Friedberg and Bad Nauheim pedestrian lights reflect memories of the American GI

Alternative for Germany co-leaders Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

Dossiers demand surveillance of populist party by domestic intelligence agency

German chancellor and chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel is applauded after her farewell speech. Photograph: Christian Charisius/DPA via AP

Delegates feel German voters want a new start, clear decisions and long-term strategy

Nerves of steel: new CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer might have a testing transition ‘co-habitating’ with Merkel

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer waves next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel after being elected as the party leader during the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party congress in Hamburg, Germany, December 7th, 2018. Photograph: Reuters

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s victory puts her in pole position to be German chancellor

Paul and Brendan O’Sullivan, owners of Irish knitwear company Irelands Eye.  In the past six years  its business to Germany has quadrupled. Photograph: Lensmen Photographic Agency

Many exporters are looking to Germany for opportunities amid Brexit uncertainty

Head to head: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Friedrich Merz. Photograph: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Kramp-Karrenbauer is in the Merkel mould whereas Merz is seen as a departure

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) candidate for the party chair Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer getting her portrait taken. AKK, as she is known,  is Angela Merkel’s choice as successor. File photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

In total 12 people running but a close race likely between Kramp-Karrenbauer and Merz

CDU candidates for the party chair Friedrich Merz, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Jens Spahn in Düsseldorf. Photograph: Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo/Reuters

Wolfgang Schäuble has publicly backed Friedrich Merz in what some see as revenge

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, candidate to lead Germany’s ruling party. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Profile: Foiled in 2000, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer now tops polls to lead CDU

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS). Each MEP is entitled to €24,526 monthly to employ assistants and constituency employees. Accredited assistants can earn up to €9,000 a month. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

At least four relatives of Law and Justice party officials or employees work in its offices in Europe

German chancellor Angela Merkel: now displaying rare public flashes of her private wit. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty

Relinquishing CDU leadership seems to have freed up the buttoned-down German leader

Deutsche Bank shares were under pressure after news of the raid emerged.   Photograph: Getty

Inquiry, sparked by Panama Papers revelations, to continue into second day

German finance minister Olaf Scholz said he was not opposed to tax competition in Europe but favoured an international minimum level of taxation.

Finance minister favours minimum level of tax for multinationals

 Friedrich Merz: said he was at  most ‘upper middle-class’. Photograph: Epa/Ulrich Hufnagel

CDU leadership hopeful is learning the rich aren’t really trusted in Germany

An anti-government protest in support of free courts in front of the supreme court building in Warsaw. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/File Photo/Reuters

Brussels has been in bad-tempered talks with Warsaw over judiciary reforms for two years

Federal family minister Franziska Giffey described as “shocking” the total of almost 140,000 cases of violence towards a partner that were registered last year in Germany. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Every three days a German woman is killed by her partner

Alice Weidel of Alternative für Deutschland is greeted by Alexander Gauland   in Berlin’s  Reichstag building   to mark National Mourning Day, on Sunday. She faces questions over donations for her Bundestag campaign last year. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

AfD officials urged to ‘refrain from blanket defamation of foreigners/immigrants/refugees’

Europe’s future depended on France and Germany working together to prevent the continent becoming a “plaything of great powers,” French president Emmanuel Macron told the Bundestag. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

France and Germany have ‘obligation not to let the world slip into chaos,’ president says

CDU leadership contenders Friedrich Merz, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Jens Spahn hold up speaking order number cards at a debate in Luebeck on Thursday. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Three contenders for CDU leadership begin contest civilly but looking inward

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan: she  wowed an audience with a speech in fluent German to open Dublin’s Goethe Institute

A sustainable engagement with Germany is a timely investment in a changing Europe, and a wise insurance policy in an uncertain wor(...)

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that both British and EU officials had backed the draft Brexit deal. Photograph: AP

Angela Merkel insists alternative to deal agreed this week is disorderly Brexit

The leader of Sweden’s conservative Moderates party, Ulf Kristersson. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Vote against Ulf Kristersson a ‘protest against rising tide of right-wing nationalism’

German chancellor and leader of the CDU Angela Merkel will not stand again as leader and will step down as chancellor in 2021. Photograph: Markus Heine/Getty

German chancellor's announcement is a belated attempt to define her legacy

Philip Treacy: the Irish milliner is Vivid’s design director

Ireland’s master milliner on Vivid, his huge Berlin revue, and being Irish and gay

Guards at the Poland-Ukraine Border

The EU is vigilant about its borders. Brexit negotiators could learn valuable lessons here

Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki: “As 80 per cent of the public support these reforms, we will continue them.” Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Warsaw says it will study order but is determined to push ahead with reforms

Environment groups in Germany, who have launched successful air quality lawsuits across the country, attacked the programme as a “stimulus plan for VW”. Photograph: Reuters

VW says scheme is incentive to switch to cleaner vehicles and not ‘about selling new cars’

German chancellor Angela Merkel has been a force of sense and stability for two decades in Berlin. Photograph: Omer Messinger/EPA

Germany’s biggest party faces a leadership crisis that dares not speak its name

German chancellor Angela Merkel: ‘I have to take greater care that trust exists and that the results of our work become visible.’ Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

More election disaster looms for CDU as chancellor moves into damage-limitation mode

Jakub Urbanik, one of the complainants  bringing a case   against Kaja Godek for comments she made about homosexuals. Photograph: Marek Misiurewicz

Kaja Godek is being sued by 16 LGBTI+ people over comments on the Taoiseach

German musical duo Michael  and Marianne Hartl at the opening of a new Maserati showroom in Munich. Photograph: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Rich Land, Poor Land: It is Europe’s largest economy, the EU’s biggest donor, and home to 120 billionaires

Bavarian governor Markus Söder and German interior minister Horst Seehofer, at  a final election rally in Munich, on Friday.  Photograph:  Christof  Stache/AFP/Getty Images

A last-minute miracle seems to be the only possibility now for the German chancellor

Chief justice Malgorzata Gersdorf: “No government likes judges but they tolerate them.” Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Malgorzata Gersdorf refuses to leave her job and accuses the government of ‘wanting to be sheriff’

Leo Varadkar: During a TV debate in Poland five days after Ireland’s abortion referendum, anti-abortion guest Kaja Godek called the Taoiseach –  and all homosexual people – ‘perverted’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Defamation case will decide line between freedom of expression and hate speech

One of the complainants in the case Jakub Urbanik outside court. Photograph: Marek Misiurewicz

Kaja Godek in May described Taoiseach’s homosexuality as a ‘perversion’ during television discussion

Wojciech Smarzowski’s “Kler” is based almost exclusively on real stories of predatory priests, sadistic nuns and alcoholic archbishops. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Warsaw Letter: ‘Kler’ church paedophilia and corruption plot points finger at passivity

The ruling came after a case taken by German environment lobby group DUH. Photograph: Getty

Hamburg has already imposed bans and Frankfurt and Stuttgart to follow

The CSU’s Markus Soeder and Munich’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, at Oktoberfest. Photograph: Peter Kneffel/AFP/Getty Images

Poor showings for her centre-right alliance could catalyse her transition out of power

After a major redevelopment and expansion, the Goethe-Institut Irland’s Georgian Headquarters at 37 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 has  reopened

After a multimillion-euro renovation, the arts institute is ready to spearhead a renaissance

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