News Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives were on course to form a grand coalition government.

CDU nominates Schauble

CDU nominates Schauble

Defeat leaves Kohl's party in disarray

WANTED: AMBITIOUS politicians to fill vacancies at the top of what was until recently Germany's biggest party. Apply in writing to Christian Democrat (CDU) headquarters in Bonn.

New Chancellor, old ways

If Germany is to remain competitive and to create new jobs, it needs... Thatcherism with a human face

Greens set for power in Schroder coalition

GERMANY BRACED itself yesterday for the biggest political realignment in its post-war history, as Gerhard Schroder's Social Democrats set about forming a government with the help of the Greens.

Kohl makes way for a new era

THE BALANCE of power in Europe tilted to the left last night as Helmut Kohl, the world's longest-serving democratic leader, suffered a crushing defeat in Germany's general elections. His departure opens the way to a government led by the Social Democrats' Gerhard Schroder.

Comment: Blurred horizons will spoil Kohl's blooming landscapes

Kohl has been written off before, but my hunch is that this time the old warhorse won't make it

Kohl hints at `grand coalition' after poll

ALMOST INSEPARABLE in the polls, the visible distinctions between Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his challenger faded further yesterday as Germans were confronted with the prospect of a "grand coalition" after this Sunday's vote.

Weary Kohl welcomed as he comes home

"IT'S GOOD to be home," the Chancellor sighed, wiping the sweat off his forehead as he gazed at the faces of the 5,000 people who had come to welcome him on this balmy night. "Helmut, Helmut," the crowd thundered. "Our Helmut".

Feel-good factor and fear of the unknown keep Kohl in the hunt

Despite trailing badly in the polls, Germany's veteran chancellor can't be written off yet, writes Imre Karacs

Divided, leaderless and devoid of ideas: are the Tories dying out?

Tories are a tribe. They need the feeling of belonging, a hierarchy, a Fuhrer. They've lost that

Kohl has five weeks left to turn the tide Germany's `phoney election war' is over

THE PHONEY war is over. Germany's election campaign enters the "hot phase" today with a Woodstock-style happening organised by the Social Democrats in Bonn, followed by a Christian Democrat rally at a Dortmund arena tomorrow.

Kohl turns his fire on the Greens

IN THE "German autumn" of 1973, a young revolutionary named Joschka Fischer lent his Volkswagen to a terrorist working for Carlos The Jackal. The car, as he was to learn much later, was used to transport weapons stolen from American barracks in Frankfurt, including the gun that snuffed out the life of a senior politician in 1981.

Obituary: Ernst Brugger

FROM 1959 on, Swiss governments have been constructed on a complicated formula under which the Christian Democrats, Radical Democrats and Social Democrats each get two ministers, and the Swiss People's Party gets one. Nominations for the seven-member government must also consider Switzerland's language groups. Ernst Brugger was elected to the government at this time and awarded the Department of Public Economy. He was regarded as a model patriot, in touch with ordinary people, but one whose education had made him outward-looking.

Czech left turn fails to end crisis

CZECH VOTERS moved to the left and gave the Social Democratics a victory in elections held over the weekend. However, the margin may have been too narrow for the party to form a viable government or resolve the political instability that has plagued the country since the collapse of the centre-right coalition led by former prime minister Vaclav Klaus.

The phoney war is over in fight for German leadership

THE CHALLENGER was so looking forward to this meeting. The choreography of the handshake with Russia's President had been refined to the tiniest detail, the arc lights carefully targeted on those famous white teeth, and the trademark smile practised a hundred times. Only one thing was wrong: the cameras were missing.
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003