February 6th: News from Germany

These are the topics: Germany promises NATO it will increase defence spending + EU blocks Siemens-Alstom rail merger + Love Parade legal proceedings end for majority of defendants.

Germany promises NATO it will increase defence spending

Germany promises NATO it will increase defence spending 

Brussels (dpa) - Germany has promised NATO it will increase defence spending above the already promised 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024, according to information obtained by dpa. Germany submitted a strategy paper to the Western military alliance on Tuesday that mentioned the plan for greater investments in the Bundeswehr.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly singled out Germany as failing in its duty to reach NATO's 2-per-cent spending goal. Only eight of NATO's 29 members are meeting the target. The US spends 3.5 per cent of GDP on defence, according to NATO data.

EU blocks Siemens-Alstom rail merger 

Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission blocked a planned merger between the railway business of German industrial giant Siemens and France's Alstom on Wednesday, arguing that they failed to address its "serious" competition concerns. The two companies, as well as the French and German governments, argued that the merger would create a European champion that could take on foreign rivals such as Chinese rail manufacturing giant CRRC.

But the commission rejected the argument, finding that it would have harmed competition in the European railway industry.

EU-Kommission untersagt offiziell Siemens-Alstom-Fusion

Love Parade legal proceedings end for majority of defendants

Dusseldorf (dpa) - Legal proceedings have been terminated against seven of the 10 defendants in Germany's trial relating to the stampede at the Love Parade electronic music festival in 2010. All the defendants were accused of manslaughter and negligence in planning the event.

The Duisburg district court made the ruling on Wednesday, eight-and-a-half years after the disaster. The court felt that convictions against the seven individuals were unlikely to be secured.