Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is one of Germany's leading dailies, founded in 1949. With a focus on business and finance, the "FAZ" is considered center-right politically.
Clashes in Gaza on May 14

A Bloody Contrast, 24 World Front Pages After Gaza Killings

PARIS — The world reacted in a chorus of shock Tuesday after the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014, as Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians protesting at the border against the opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem. U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize the holy city as Israel's capital, against the will of almost the entire international community, has been the source of deadly clashes for months. But the response of Israeli Defense Forces on demonstrators Monday was brutal. Haaretz, the progressive Israeli daily, posted an editorial Tuesday titled: "Stop The Bloodbath."

The death toll had risen Tuesday morning to 60, with more than 2,000 wounded. As those killed yesterday are being put to rest, more protests are expected as Palestinians also commemorate the 70-year anniversary of the Nakba, when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes in the 1948 war.

The killings have sparked protests as well as official condemnations from around the world, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, who said he was "profoundly alarmed and concerned by the sharp escalation of violence and the number of Palestinians killed and injured in the Gaza protests."Many of Tuesday's newspaper front pages captured the contrast of Tuesday's events, where Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump was beaming during the inauguration of the new embassy, while unarmed civilians were being killed just miles away at the border. Le Monde"s lead article opened with the following words: "Champagne in Jerusalem, blood in Gaza."



Israel Hayom

The Jerusalem Post

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Voting in Turin, Italy on Sunday

Italy To Germany, Europe's Reign Of Uncertainty

The very notion of "political instability" is baked into democratic life. If you want something predictable and unchanging you can have a 17th-century French monarchy or 21st-century Chinese autocracy. Still, a look around European parliamentary democracies these days shows a particularly bumpy road ahead, as ideologies and party machinations are being side-swiped by an accelerating wave of populism throughout the West. Over the past 24 hours, we have seen the tumult playing out in two of Europe's key nations: Italy and Germany.

More than five months after elections that left Germany's two biggest parties badly bruised, Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) will finally be able to form another grand coalition government (or a GroKo, as the Germans call it). On Sunday, two-thirds of the SPD's party members approved the coalition agreement, removing the last hurdle standing in the path of what the party's candidate in the election, Martin Schultz, had vowed not to do: enter another government led by Angela Merkel. But the poor results from both parties and the rise of the far-right formation Alternative für Deutschland left the Chancellor with little room for maneuver, especially after she failed to bring together the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), two almost polar opposites.

Neither Merkel nor the SPD wanted to risk another election and a potentially even worse result. As political columnist Majid Sattar writes in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, there was "no howl of triumph" after the SPD party members' vote, and "even among the two-thirds who voted in favor" of the coalition agreement, "there are many doubters who thought the SPD was in a fatal dilemma and basically only voted yes because they saw it as a life-prolonging measure."

Now, after going through its longest political crisis since World War II, Germany finally has a government, but just how governable the country will be is another matter.

In Italy, meanwhile, lack of governability and more turmoil are the only certainties after Sunday's election, which saw the spectacular rise of the eurosceptic Five Star Movement and the anti-immigration Northern League, an ally of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia. But despite their strong showing, none of these insurgent parties has reached the 40% threshold which, in Italy, allows to form a government outright, with the Five Star Movement coming first at 32%, and the Northern League-Forza Italia alliance around 37%.

La Repubblica — March 5, 2018

"It is a political earthquake, without a doubt," said editor Luciano Fontana of the Milan-based Corriere della Sera daily. "It sweeps away coalitions that have been central to Italy's recent ruling legislatures." The center-left Democratic party has suffered a stinging defeat, as former wunderkind Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is reportedly mulling resignation.

The strongest cards, Fontana notes, are in the hands of two largely untested political leaders: the Five Star's Luigi Di Maio and the Northern League's Matteo Salvini. They share in common a growing disdain for the European Union, and skills at playing to the populist anger rising around the country. Yet, each has vowed never to rule with the other. We only need to look again over to Germany, where Martin Schultz once said the same thing.

2,400 tweets later
Benjamin Witte

The World Marks One Year Since Trump Elected


A political neophyte who launched his presidential campaign by railing against Mexican "rapists' and "murderers' was never supposed to win, especially against a seasoned stateswoman backed by her party's establishment. Add to that unthinkable episodes, like his mocking a disabled reporter or the revelation of the infamous "grab ‘em by the p***y" recording, and a continued refusal to divulge his tax history. In a normal campaign, any single such element would almost surely have derailed his White House ambitions.

Yes, exactly one year after Donald Trump's stunning victory, on Nov. 8, 2016, over Hillary Clinton, the world is still asking how it happened. Twelve months and 2,400 "sulfurous tweets' later — to borrow a term from the French daily Sud Ouest — the world now also seems to ask itself how the brash billionaire is still president of the United States. No toning things down, no acting "more presidential," as many expected or at least hoped: Trump clearly has no intention to abandon his divisive, campaign-mode approach.

For the president's countless detractors, the past year has felt like a lifetime.

That, note analysts from around the across globe, is his strategy, and he's sticking to it. "Donald Trump has never changed his method," writes Frédéric Autran from France's Libération. "The billionaire thrives in chaos. It has served him." Key to the approach, Autran adds, is never apologizing. That, and responding to every bit of criticism with a counter-attack, usually via Twitter — at an average rate of six per day, various news sources have pointed out.

Needless to say, Trump's Twitter tirades and other off-the-wall antics are highly polarizing. They're also counterproductive — at least according to conventional wisdom. The president's overall approval numbers continue to decline, calls for his impeachment grow louder by the day, and even would-be allies in Congress are at odds with the oddball leader who has struggled to to pass basic legislation despite having Republican majorities in both houses of the U.S. legislature.

And yet, none of that seems to really bother Mr. Trump. As Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics told the Spanish daily El País, the U.S. leader is sticking with the same "divide and conquer" approach he successfully employed in the campaign: "Trump has abandoned the presidential tradition of reconciling the American people."

Andrew Selee, a former executive vice president of The Mexico Institute, notes that the President is "both a symptom and a cause" of U.S. political polarization. "He didn't create the country's ideological and ethnic divisions," Selee writes in Mexican daily El Universal. "But he's continued feeding and deepening them with his postures and statements."

Critics can take some satisfaction in Trump's low approval ratings and obvious failures on the legislative front. But they should be wary of dismissing him off-hand, warn analysts like Oliver Georgi, politics editor with Frankfurter Allgemeine. He's still the president, after all, and his impact, be it through executive orders or as an instigator of deeper political polarization, is undeniable. Trump's adversaries tend to "underestimate" him to a fault, overlooking the fact, for example, that he did follow through on threats to remove the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change and undo parts of Obamacare, at least by executive order, Georgi notes.

"From Promises To Reality, One Year Of Trump" — Publico"s Nov. 8 front page

The boastful business mogul also has the benefit of a booming U.S. economy, as Maximilian Cellino of the Milan-based financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore points out. "Not only have Wall Street markets risen 20%, reaching record levels and defying the laws of gravity of financial markets, but also the drop in the dollar and perilous rise in bond yields that some predicted have not come to pass," Cellino writes.

The Italian writer is among those who argue that the U.S. economy would have fared well with or without the new president, thanks to a strengthening recovery in Europe and continued low interest rates. Still, Trump is more than happy to take credit for the boom. And to the degree that American voters are swayed by the state of their wallets, positive economic indicators could translate into pro-Trump votes in the next election cycle and beyond.

Not that there's any way Trump could be reelected.


For the president's countless detractors, the past year has felt like a lifetime. Little wonder that hundreds of people are planning to "howl" their frustrations today in Dallas, Texas.

Still, the world should plan for at least three more years for Trump to serve the rest of his first term. But four more years after that? Impossible. Impossible? John Zogby, founder of the U.S. polling firm Zogby Analytics told Chile's La Tercera, Trump's approval numbers — between 37% and 41% — aren't good. "And he never had his post-election honeymoon period," the pollster explained. "But so far he's kept his base. And given that no one else on the national scene has better numbers, Trump could in fact be re-elected."

Refugees at the Austrian/German border

German Economists Take Dim View Of Merkel Migrant Policy

BERLIN — Forty percent of economics professors surveyed in Germany say they expect severe drawbacks to the country's open-door refugee policy, and only 23% see immigration as a source of opportunities, a new survey shows.

The joint research by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research of 220 economists professors also shows that 56% of them believe it's necessary to lower the minimum wage to better integrate asylum seekers with low qualifications, though 37% reject that idea. An overwhelming majority of the economists say they want stronger protection of the Schengen area borders. At the same time, they warn of closing national borders temporarily, which is costly.

When asked about the best approach for financing accommodation, provisions and support for refugees, 45% of the economists say the costs should be covered with new indebtedness, and 36% say it should be financed with tax increases.

A minority of respondents mention options such as reducing international payment transactions, implementing a higher retirement age (22%) or reducing other social spending (21%). Others (16%) advocate other saving measures or household reallocations.

The professors regard Germany's immigration policy particularly critically when comparing it to other countries. Many believe the British and French approaches seem smarter and less problematic in the long run. Clear winners are Canada and Australia, whose immigration policies demand asylum seekers to meet certain criteria.


Cologne Mayor Candidate Survives Stabbing, Wins Election

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Frankfurter Allgemeine, Oct. 19, 2015

Accompanied by an ominous photograph of the culprit's weapons, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine dedicated its front page Monday to the stabbing of, and subsequent victory by Cologne's incoming mayor, Henriette Reker.

"Rekker wins Cologne election after assassination attempt," writes the conservative daily.

Reker — an independent candidate supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party — was attacked stabbed in the neck Saturday as she campaigned at a market in Cologne. The man who carried out the attack reportedly disapproved of her welcoming stance toward refugees, according to the Kölnische Rundschau.

Frankfurter Allgemeine"s front page features a police photo a a large hunting knife and a smaller flick knife used in the attack in which four other politicians and aides were also wounded.

Early elections results show that Reker, who is in stable condition in the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, won almost 53% of the vote.


VW Emission Scandal Ripples Through German Car Industry

The scandal rocking Volkswagen, in which the world's second largest car manufacturer is accused of fraud in its emissions tests, could ripple through the entire German automobile industry and "plunge it into a crisis of confidence," the country's leading business newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, writes on Tuesday.

In a scathing column, Holger Appel suggests the scandal will leave the German car industry badly bruised and will dent its hard-built image of high-quality and efficiency. He also points to several "open-ended questions," namely who knew about the incriminated software and why it was covered up. "The reason why, despite its outstanding benefits, VW took such an immense risk is a mystery," Appel writes. "So too is why the company took so long to react."

Volkswagen is being accused by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of using a piece of software in its diesel vehicles that can tell the car's computer when it is being tested for emissions. The computer can then drastically reduce those emissions, making the car engine up to 40% cleaner than in normal usage. The manufacturer has been forced to recall half-a-million cars in the U.S. and others in Europe are calling for a inquiry.


Extra! Merkel's Border U-Turn

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 14, 2015

Germany introduced temporary controls at its border with Austria Sunday in an attempt to slow down the influx of refugees into the country, as the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote on its front page Monday.

Shortly after Berlin's unexpected move, border control officers started conducting passport checks near Austria. This signals a significant reversal in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy, two weeks after the country decided to open its doors to refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East.

The decision to temporarily exit the Schengen Area comes after German regions told the federal government they could no longer cope with the record influx that saw at least 63,000 asylum seekers arriving in the southern city of Munich alone since the end of August, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

In an interview with Germany's state broadcaster ARD, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the measure's aim was "to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country," adding that it was "urgently necessary for security reasons." He also insisted on the need to know who comes into the country, amid reports that fake Syrian passports are in wide circulation.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is one of Germany's leading dailies, founded in 1949. With a focus on business and finance, the "FAZ" is considered center-right politically.