News Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

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

Kohl's rottweiler is called to heel

It was Otto "Fastlips" Hauser's fourth outing before the press yesterday and, contrary to expectations, not the last. The firing squad that despatched his predecessor a mere fortnight ago had run out of either bullets or replacements.

Obituary: Erich Mende

ERICH MENDE belonged to the generation of German politicians who had served in the Second World War.

Irish MP dies after going on cliff walk

THE body of a prominent member of the Irish Republic's Fine Gael opposition party was recovered from the sea off the coast of Cork yesterday.

The riddle of Aldo Moro: was Italy's establishment happy to see him die?

Many say the police did not do all they could to save the ex-PM kidnapped 20 years ago, reports Andrew Gumbel

Schroder victory leaves Kohl smarting

RATTLED by his party's heavy defeat in Sunday's Lower Saxony elections, Chancellor Helmut Kohl angrily rejected suggestions yesterday that he should abandon his attempt to gain a fifth term of office.

Leading Article: Let's raise a glass to Kohl, a man who played the game

BY their enemies, ye shall know them. By the time Helmut Kohl arrived at Guildhall last night to receive the Freedom of the City of London, a fearsome opposition - of pen-pushers and last-ditchers - had formed. It consisted of the United Kingdom Stop-the-World-I-Want-to-Get- Off Party, a junior lecturer from that home of lost causes, the University of Oxford, and a whey-faced jokesmith from a Tory newspaper whose idea of humour is that Germans would throw the Chancellor out of the window if only they could find one big enough (sidesplitting, ja?). Anti-German sentiment is these days confined to a band of malcontents, reactionaries, hack writers for foreign-owned newspapers, Jingoes and little Englanders. They are boorish yes, but would be worth apologising for only if Helmut Kohl were not seasoned in the occasional discomforts of democratic politics. To his country's credit, he is.

That Was The Week: Percentage points

3% of Americans think their president's moral standards are higher than those of the average married man

Leading Article: The killers we indulge, and those we don't

It's the time of year when the baggage of memory gets ransacked. A lot must be left behind, and so, for the sake of health, it should be. Recollection of yesterday's quarrels fade. New paradigms establish themselves. Labour becomes, in Harold Wilson's phrase, the natural party of government by dint of being there and looking comfortable with it (though the latest cabinet papers remind us yet again how unnatural the exercise of power remained for Wilson himself). Yesterday's political villains start to look benign. The lean and hungry Portillos put on weight, metaphorically speaking. One day, even, people will play back their tape of him on election night and sympathise rather than cheer.

Out in the cold

The business year in pictures

Havel set for new term

President Vaclav Havel accepted the backing by representatives of four parties for a second five-year term. The 61-year-old president's current term is ending as the Czech Republic faces a period of political instability unprecedented in its eight-year transition from communism.

Kohl's Christian Democrats catch up on pink politics

The German Christian Democrats, self-declared champions of the family, are about to embark on the path trodden by their opponents. Every party but Helmut Kohl's own has a homosexual section. Now, a group of gay CDU activists are also planning to come out.

Prodi steps down, with rancour

Unable to hold its parliamentary majority together and get the country's finances into shape for European monetary union, Italy's precarious centre-left government finally collapsed yesterday, leaving an unholy political mess.

Embattled Kohl seeks religious relief for his ills

Chancellor Helmut Kohl and senior members of his government retreated to a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria yesterday, seeking a brief moment of tranquillity away from the battles of the Cabinet.

Haughey's pounds 1.3m secret prompts call for new inquiry

Dail Opposition parties are pressing for a new and wider inquiry into suspected large payments from businessmen to Charles Haughey, who served four terms as the Irish Prime Minister, in the wake of his belated admission that he did after all receive pounds 1.3m in secret payments from Ben Dunne, the supermarket magnate .

Kohl plays the quitting game to shake allies

The unhappy ship that is Germany's governing coalition was drifting towards the rocks yesterday amid rumours that the captain was preparing to jump overboard.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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