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BERLIN, August 17, 2018 (News Wires) - The German government said that Greece has agreed to take back migrants who apply for asylum there and later turn up at Germany's border with Austria.

That brings the government closer to implementing a deal to defuse a German political spat over migration.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Eleonore Petermann said Friday Germany and Greece have reached an agreement and need only a formal exchange of letters to complete it. She wouldn't give details ahead of its signing.

The deal with Greece follows an agreement with Spain that took effect last weekend. Petermann said talks with Italy are "far advanced."

In June, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer threatened to turn back previously registered migrants unilaterally at the German-Austrian border. Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Germany must first reach agreements with other countries.

BERLIN, August 8, 2018 (News Wires) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran could further destabilise the Middle East and boost radical forces in the region.

Trump brought back the punishing sanctions after unilaterally pulling out of a landmark 2015 deal between Tehran and Western powers to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“We still think that it is a mistake to give up on the nuclear accord with Iran,” Maas said in an interview with the daily Passauer Neue Presse.

“We are fighting for the deal because it also serves our purpose by bringing about security and transparency in the region.”

Noting Iran’s geographic proximity to Europe, Maas warned that “anyone who’s hoping for regime change must not forget that whatever follows could bring us much bigger problems.”

“Isolating Iran could boost radical and fundamentalist forces,” he said, adding that “chaos in Iran, as we have experienced in Iraq or Libya, would further destabilise an already troubled region.”

In a desperate bid to save the nuclear accord, European governments have pledged to do what they can to keep business links with Tehran.

Despite the political will to hold firm, many large European firms such as German automaker Daimler are leaving Iran for fear of US penalties.

The US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, welcomed the news.

“We are pleased to see German businesses stopping their trade with Iran, complying with US sanctions, and helping pressure the Iranian regime back to the table,” he tweeted.

“We stand together to stop Iran’s malign activities.”

BERLIN, August 7, 2018 (News Wires) - Police evacuated part of a terminal at Germany's busiest airport Tuesday after a security official mistakenly allowed a French family that hadn't completed required security checks into a secure area.

Federal police stopped flights from boarding and kept passengers out of area A of Frankfurt Airport's Terminal 1 for about two hours due to concerns that at least one person had entered without being properly screened.

Police said on Twitter that the midday evacuation was prompted by a security assistant mistakenly allowing the French family of four into the secure area even though they were supposed to be subject to a secondary screening.

The family was located, questioned and allowed to continue on its journey, the police added.

The terminal resumed operating as normal about two hours after the partial evacuation was imposed.

It wasn't immediately known how many people were affected by the precautions.



CAIRO, August 6, 2018 - President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has lauded the fruitful co-operation with German companies, referring to their good reputation in the Egyptian market due to their quality, accuracy and speed in carrying out projects.

The president's statement came during his meeting on Monday with the Chairman of German manufacturer of tunnel boring machines Herrenknecht AG, Martin Herrenknecht.  Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, the Head of the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Major-General Kamel el-Wazeer, and the assistant to the authority's head, Major-General Ahmed Fouda, attended the meeting.

During the meeting, President Sisi highlighted Herrenknecht's supporting role in carrying out a number of mega projects in Egypt, expressing Egypt's keenness on obtaining the best offers for purchasing modern digging machines to use them in ongoing giant projects. This, the president said, should come in accordance with the best financial requirements while ensuring the highest international standards and specifications.

The meeting also included a review of the state plan to implement a number of giant projects especially the new stages of the Underground Metro in addition to the tunnels of the Suez Canal, dug with efficiency by Egyptians who used machines manufactured by Herrenknecht.

For his part, Mr Herrenknecht expressed the appreciation of his company  and of Germany in general for ties with Egypt, referring to the company's successful experience in boring the tunnels of the Suez Canal, the project which was implemented in a record time with the participation of Egyptian cadres, the spokesman said.

The German company's chief praised the Egyptian cadres who participated in implementing that project for having shown the highest level of efficiency and for their capability to cope and deal with up-to-date German technology, Spokesman Radi said.

 He also lauded the administrative and logistical measures that the state adopted with a view to facilitating the implementation of the project.

Mr Herrenknecht  hailed the successful and firm steps that Egypt is taking in the field of economic reform and launching developmental projects in light of a strategic vision and a stable security condition, Spokesman Radi said.

During the meeting, Mr Herrenknecht asserted that his company experience motivated it towards larger engagement in work in Egypt and co-operate with Egypt in the supply of highly efficient tunnel boring machines.

BERLIN, August 3, 2018 (News Wires) - German prosecutors said on Friday that a man suspected of sending money to finance the Islamic State group has been arrested at Amsterdam airport.

Prosecutors said that the 29-year-old Russian national, identified only as Yusup B. because of German privacy rules, was arrested Thursday as he arrived from South America.

They said in a statement Friday that authorities in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg are investigating him on suspicion of supporting a terrorist organization. He is suspected of transferring money to suspects in Syria to finance training and weapons procurement for IS.

Prosecutors say that, after hearing about the investigation, he left for an unspecified destination in South America but investigators were able to track him down.


BERLIN, July 27, 2018 (News Wires) - Germany is stepping up efforts to prevent companies in critical industries from falling into Chinese hands, taking a stake in a high-voltage network operator and planning to veto the sale of a machine-tooling business.

State bank KfW agreed on Friday to take a 20 per cent stake in high-voltage energy network operator 50Hertz, fending off an offer from China's State Grid.

Berlin also plans to veto the planned sale to Chinese investors of Leifeld Metal Spinning, customers of which include companies in the aerospace, chemicals and automotive industries, according to a government source familiar with the matter.

Talks are ongoing, but the cabinet is likely to announce its objection to the proposed deal next week, the source said. The planned veto was first reported by German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

The measures come amid concerns in some countries - such as the United States, Germany, France, Australia and Britain - that China and other rivals are gaining access to key technologies via takeovers.

Germany's economy ministry this week said that it wanted better tools for hindering takeovers of German companies by investors beyond the European Union that do not conform with market regulations. Britain also plans to tighten foreign takeover rules.

The German government had already tightened controls on foreign investments last year after a series of high-profile takeovers by Chinese companies, making it possible for Berlin to intervene if a buyer amasssed a shareholding of 25 per cent.

However, German industry association BDI said that KfW taking the stake in 50Hertz was problematic.

"Such a one-off decision runs the risk of hurting the climate for foreign investment," BDI manager Stefan Mair said, highlighting that the laws introduced last year stated that security concerns arose only when a shareholding exceeds 25 per cent.



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