World Bulletin/News Desk
Around half of Germans are prepared to give up some national powers to Brussels in the pursuit of a common European Union financial policy, according to a poll by Emnid for the German magazine Focus.
Some 49 percent of the 1,000 Germans surveyed for the poll supported handing over more power to the EU, in line with the closer European fiscal and political union championed by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Some 44 percent were opposed.
Voters for the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Left party were particularly willing to give up some national competences, according to the poll, while voters for the parties in the ruling coalition were more reluctant.
In particular, some 63 percent of supporters of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), junior coalition partners in Merkel's coalition, were against giving up any more power to Brussels, according to the poll conducted between July 4 and 5.
This underlines the difficulties Merkel faces in getting her plans for closer political union agreed in Berlin, where patience within her own fractious coalition with measures to stem the euro zone crisis is wearing thin.
Merkel has proposed much tighter fiscal and political ties between EU member states as an essential precondition for any mutualisation of debt - a key demand of struggling southern countries such as Italy.
Many voters in Germany, Europe's paymaster and its biggest economy, are fed up with shelling out billions of euros to prevent countries like Greece defaulting on their debts.
Some senior politicians, including Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, have said a referendum would be needed to give legitimacy to further political and fiscal union in Europe. This would be the first referendum in Germany since World War Two.
The alternative to debt mutualisation in order to overcome the crisis however is "a horror scenario", according to Germany's panel of economic advisers.
The so-called wise men on Friday published their latest report on how they believe Berlin should deal with the crisis, noting that while mutualisation of debt was risky, any other scenario was just as fraught.
The advisers noted that Germany had claims within the euro zone running up to 2.8 trillion euros, meaning a breakup of the common currency bloc would involve high risks for its largest economy, with many creditors unlikely be able to pay back their loans in full.
A euro zone breakup would probably result in a shock of the same scale as occurred after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, which led to a 5 percent contraction in the German economy.
In the long run, a re-introduction of a stronger Deutschemark would damage Germany's competitiveness on European and global markets, the wise men wrote in their report.
"It should not be overseen that German companies have benefited considerably in the past few year from the fact that they were producing in a currency bloc, whose currency was not seen as a typical 'strong currency' by markets," they added.
The wise men, whose advice the government does not have to follow, reiterated their call for a debt redemption fund.
Bomb explosion occurred in Bani Jamra, a Shi'ite village northwest of the capital Manama and was described by the interior ministry as a "terrorist blast" in a statement
New sanctions aimed at putting pressure on Russia’s economy over Ukraine crisis, come on the heels of US and EU sanctions
Israel gunboats have opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats of the north coast of Gaza with some damage sustained during the shooting.
Damascus has relied on Tehran to fight its war with drop in oil price affects oil-producing Iran. Syrian traders say Damascus worried about future support
The National Islamic Committee for Social Solidarity was drawn up nearly one year ago with the aim of providing humanitarian assistance to the embattled Gaza Strip.
The summit devoted to Sahel affairs had lodged an official request with the African Union's Peace and Security Council to form an "international military force to intervene in Libya."
The runoff will see Marzouki, who came in second in last month's first-round vote, face off against Essebsi, a former Ben Ali regime official who came in at first place with 39.4 percent of the vote.
The Kenyan opposition has already described the bill – which will facilitate government wiretapping and allow terror suspects to be detained for up to a year without charge – as "draconian."
Daniel Fred Kidega of Uganda became the fourth speaker of EALA after being elected unopposed after his main competitor, Chris Opoka-Okumu, stepped down
“We're not at a stage here where me visiting Cuba, or President Castro coming to the United States is in the cards.”
Since 2011, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against the Khartoum government in Sudan's southern Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
As of Nov. 30, the United Nations had recorded a total of 3,188 civilian deaths and 6,429 injuries.
"Russia is ready for dialogue and cooperation, but only on the principles of equality and real respect for our interests," the ministry said.
Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty after the attack and Mohammed Aqeel and Arshad Mehmood were the first prisoners reported hanged under the new arrangements.
The aim of the operation is to reach Sinjar town on the southern side of the mountain, which sits on a road linking Mosul to neighbouring Syria and is a key supply route for the militants.
Bouteflika's mental and cognitive faculties are intact and he will continue to govern Algeria, the ruling FLN party's chairman said