China, Germany to launch inter-governmental consultation →
news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/c … 809476.htm
BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) – China and Germany will launch a comprehensive dialogue mechanism this year to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
The first such consultation, slated for July, will be co-chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his German counterpart Angela Merkel, Wen said when meeting with visiting German Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle in Beijing Friday.
Senior Chinese and German officials in charge of diplomacy, economics, finance, science, technology, culture, education and social development will all take part in the dialogue.
As the first European country to establish inter-governmental consultations with China, Germany will strive to make the first round of consultations a success, Westerwelle said.
there is more
Merkel’s foreign minister to quit party post →
khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArti … ril143.xml
BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was expected to quit as head of the Free Democrats (FDP) on Sunday after a string of state election failures for the junior partners in Angela Merkel’s coalition government.
A senior political source said Westerwelle would announce his resignation from the party post late on Sunday, but it was not clear whether he would also quit his ministerial post or as Merkel’s deputy chancellor.
Westerwelle is widely blamed for the FDP’s plunge in support to around 5 percent from its record 14.6 percent in the 2009 federal elections when Merkel was re-elected. He was due to make a statement at 1600 GMT on Sunday at party headquarters.
But analysts do not expect the turmoil in the FDP, which has weighed on the performance of the coalition, to lead to an early election in the way Merkel’s Social Democrat (SPD) predecessor Gerhard Schroeder ended up losing power in 2005.
It was unclear whether Westerwelle would resign immediately or simply not stand for re-election at a party congress in May.
there is more
Westerwelle was a clown. Most people here are glad to see the back of him. Too late for the FDP though.
The FDP are a bit like the PD’s. Neo-liberal, but their success at the last election was due to lots of populist promises. Which they promptly ditched after getting into power, shortly before cutting taxes for hotel owners (one of their big financial backers). In other words, corrupt clientelist politics. And were eaten by their bigger coalition partners.
The new leader, Rösler, is seen as young and naive.