German benefits and interior minister Thomas de Maizière (left) said he wanted to end the phenomenon of new arrivals unable to speak the language, submitting word-perfect applications for a trading licence and later, welfare payments. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

German fears of being flooded by so-called “welfare tourists” from eastern Europe were dismissed as overblown yes(...)

German  minister for defenceThomas De Maiziere (centre) at a recent committee of enquiry  on the Euro Hawk unmanned surveillance drone programme. Photograph: Reuters

On the “most likely to succeed Angela Merkel” list, most Berlin watchers would have given good odds to defence minister Thomas de Maizière. A M(...)

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