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Germany, other EU member states to fight for Brexit deal  — Merkel

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Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany aims to fight for a Brexit deal to the last, in cooperation with the other member states of the European Union.

All 27 countries would fight to the last day to ensure that Britain did not crash out of the bloc, Merkel said during a conference hosted by the powerful IG Metall trade union in Nuremberg.

The chancellor’s comments follow reports from Downing Street in London to the effect that Merkel had this week taken up a new position on the Northern Ireland issue in a phone call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson that made a deal impossible.

But Berlin denied this.

In the event of a disorderly Brexit, the process should be made as bearable for individuals as possible, Merkel said.

“We aim to minimise the negative effects in both countries, even if there is a disorderly exit,” she said.

Advocating visa-free travel and retention of social security and pension rights. (NAN)

HS/YEE

Edited by Halima Sheji

 

Sport

Table tennis latest sport in Germany to recommence

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Timo Boll first beat Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and then fellow German Steffen Mengel to win a table tennis exhibition tournament in Dusseldorf, Germany on Tuesday.

Table tennis thus became the latest sport to recommence in Germany, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Boll, a seven-time European singles champion and three-time Olympic team event medallist, was the star of the two-day Dusseldorf Masters.

He featured alongside 16 players who all live or train in the western German city.

With all regular action and championships suspended or postponed, the Masters was the brainchild of German national team coach Joerg Rosskopf, a former doubles world champion.

He brought in the local Borussia Dusseldorf club who provided the facility and are five-time European champions, and the club’s foreign players were also invited to fill the ranks.

Local authorities approved their strict safety and hygiene concept with no spectators, no change of ends, no post-match handshakes, and a frequent change of balls which were all disinfected.

It follows similar small events in tennis in the country where the Bundesliga was the first major football league to resume action.

The basketball top flight is also to follow on the weekend.

“With this series, we are a pioneer for table tennis around the world,” Borussia Dusseldorf general manager Andreas Preuss said.

Rosskopf said that he wants to give his players some additional motivation as uncertainty remains when regular tournaments can be played again.

“The lads are physically fit. But to do nothing else but training is mentally too demanding in the long run,” Rosskopf said.

Boll said he was happy to play as it “was about time I got some adrenaline going again.”

The tournament in Dusseldorf continues every week for the next three months.

But players could change, although most of them are in the national team or play in or near the city.
OLAL

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)
)

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Germany adds 213 new COVID-19 cases, total at 182,028

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New COVID-19 infections in Germany remained under last week’s average as the number of confirmed cases increased by 213 in a day to 182,028, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said Tuesday.

Last week, an average of 457 daily cases had been reported by the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

The RKI said the number of deaths from COVID-19 increased by 11 to 8,522 on Tuesday, the fatality rate remained at 4.7 percent.

The number of people currently infected with COVID-19 in Germany continued to fall to around 15,600 on Tuesday as the estimated number of recoveries increased by around 600 within one day to 166,400.

However, the 4-day average reproduction rate (R-number) of COVID-19 increased to 1.2, according to the RKI daily situation report on Monday. The R-number had already risen above one over the weekend.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the RKI had stressed numerous times that the R-number had to be below one in order ease restrictions in Germany. An R-number below one indicates that one infected person is passing on the disease to less than one person on average.

The RKI stressed the R-number in Germany was “sensitive to short-term changes,” including local outbreaks such as a cluster infection caused by family reunion near the city of Goettingen.

Merkel announced Saturday an economic stimulus package to help the German economy get back on track. Germany’s governing coalition is expected to decide on the details of the package on Tuesday.

(XINHUA)

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Denmark to allow travels to Germany, Norway, Iceland from June 15

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Friday announced the reopening of Denmark’s borders for reciprocal holiday travel arrangements to Germany, Norway, and Iceland from June 15.

However, the reopening came with a caveat; the Danish government does not recommend travel to countries beyond the three countries until Aug. 31.

Speaking at a press conference in the PM‘s Office, Frederiksen said this summer “many Danes will have to spend their holidays at home.”

Danes that choose not to heed the PM‘s advice and travel beyond the three countries will be subject to 14 days of self-quarantine upon their return.

The reciprocal nature of the border openings entails a number of restrictions on Germans, Icelanders and Norwegians, including documented evidence of stay and sample testing at the borders.

In addition, foreigners will be rejected entering if any clear signs of illness are shown.

As regards Sweden, the prime minister was not prepared to make a reciprocal open-border agreement, as the neighboring state has a high level of infections compared to Denmark, which had adopted a containment strategy.

“We are in different places in relation to COVID-19. We have a strong desire on the part of the Danish government to find a solution with our Swedish neighbors,” said Frederiksen.

After Aug. 31, the PM said, the government anticipated the reopening of borders with the other Schengen countries and the United Kingdom.

As of Friday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Denmark stood at 11,593, with 568 deaths, according to the latest official count.

(XINHUA)

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People wear face mask in Berlin, Germany

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A cyclist wearing face mask is seen in Berlin, capital of Germany, April 6, 2020. Many citizens in Berlin choose variety of ways to cover their mouths and noses instead of wearing standard face masks. (Photo by Binh Truong/Xinhua)

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Germany’s non-food retail sector records heavy sales losses

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Germany’s retail sector in April recorded the “strongest month-on-month decline in sales since January 2007” as nominal sales fell by 5.1 percent, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Friday.

Due to closures during the COVID-19 crisis, sales in some retail sectors continued to fall sharply although the continued “strong demand for everyday consumer goods” led to increased sales in other areas, such as supermarkets, Destatis noted.

Demand for food, beverages and tobacco products continued to rise significantly in April and saw sales increase by 9.5 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, sales of retailers in the non-food sector fell by 14.4 percent year-on-year, according to Destatis.

The “largest drop in sales measured since 1994 in any sector of Germany’s retail trade” was recorded in the sectors of textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods with a drop of 70.9 percent year-on-year, Destatis noted.

The German Retail Federation (HDE) also announced on Friday that the country’s non-food retail sector “suffered a historic drop in sales” and is expecting that non-food retailers could lose an additional 15 billion euros (16.7 billion U.S. dollars) in sales by the end of the year.

According to a HDE company survey, 29 percent of non-food retailers in Germany were currently generating less than 50 percent of last year’s sales.

“The crisis is hitting small and medium-sized retailers particularly hard, who are of central importance to our cities and communities like no other industry,” said Stefan Genth, head of HDE.

(XINHUA)

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Denmark to allow tourists from Norway, Germany, Iceland from June 15

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Denmark to allow tourists from Norway, Germany, Iceland from June 15

Tourist
Stockholm, May 29, 2020 Denmark is to reopen its borders for tourists from neighbouring Germany, Norway and Iceland from June 15, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Friday.

The visitors must show they have a booking of at least six nights at a camping site or a holiday home – outside the capital of Copenhagen.

Denmark closed its borders in mid-March as part of measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The country has recorded 568 Covid-19 deaths as of Friday.

“We have until now coped well as a country, the infection is under control thanks to a strong, joint effort from all Danes.

“The virus is still with us, we are not through the crisis,’’ Frederiksen added.

Frederiksen said her government was in “close dialogue” with its northern neighbour Sweden, which remained off the list of countries where tourists were allowed entry.

The prime minister said that under consideration was a regional solution.

Sweden has recorded 4,350 Covid-19 related deaths, however the case load is far lower in southern Sweden.

The Danish Foreign Ministry’s general advice against non-essential travel remained in place until Aug. 31,’’ Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said.

He said that while the Danish authorities no longer caution against travel to Iceland, Germany and Norway it was advisable to avoid large cities and follow advice from local authorities.

After the summer, Denmark could possibly allow entry for tourists from other countries.

As of Monday, Denmark allowed people with permanent residence in other Nordic countries and Germany to travel into the country if they own a holiday home in Denmark or have a Danish fiance, partner or grandparent.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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1st LD Writethru: Germany reports 741 new COVID-19 infections, total now at 180,458

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New infections with COVID-19 in Germany increased above last week’s average as 741 confirmed cases have been reported within one day, bringing the total to 180,458, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday.

Over the course of last week, an average of 561 daily cases had been reported by the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

According to the RKI, the number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in Germany increased by 39 to 8,450 on Friday, resulting in a case fatality rate of 4.7 percent in Germany.

The number of people currently infected with COVID-19 in Germany continued to fall to around 16,300 on Friday as the estimated number of recoveries increased by around 900 within one day to 164,100, according to the RKI.

The 4-day average reproduction rate (R-number) of COVID-19 in Germany decreased to 0.61, based on the RKI daily situation report for Thursday. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the RKI had reiterated that the R-number had to be below one in order to ease restrictions.

Germany’s federal government and states agreed on Tuesday to extend contact restrictions until June 29. However, schedules and procedures differ from state to state, with regard to, for example, the re-opening of schools and daycare centers for children.

“In view of the reduced circulation of the coronavirus, we take the wish of many parents to offer more regular care in daycare centers and schools very seriously,” said Daniel Guenther, minister president of Schleswig-Holstein, on Wednesday.

However, the country’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn told newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine on Thursday that “we currently have a research situation that does not allow any real conclusions to be drawn about the extent to which children contribute to the spread of the virus.”

(XINHUA)

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Germany’s COVID-19 cases rise by 741 to exceed 180,000 — RKI

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Germany’s COVID-19 cases rose by 741 within one day to 180,458, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Friday.

The death toll in the country rose by 39 to 8,450, it added.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Visitors visit Panda Pavilion of Zoo Berlin in Germany

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A giant panda cub rests at Zoo Berlin in Berlin, capital of Germany, May 28, 2020. Zoo Berlin reopened to the public on April 28 after a closure for more than a month due to COVID-19. Giant pandas “Meng Meng”, “Jiao Qing” from China and their twin cubs “Meng Xiang”, “Meng Yuan” have attracted numerous visitors though restrictions are still imposed in the zoo. (Photo by Binh Truong/Xinhua)

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