German unemployment falls defying economic gloom, analysts say

Berlin - German unemployment fell in October, defying the economic gloom facing the nation, analysts say.

Senior German official resigns amid anger at bonuses

Berlin - A German official resigned his vice-ministerial post at the Transport Ministry on Wednesday after weeks of criticism of executive bonuses that are planned at one of Germany's biggest state-owned companies.

Matthias von Randow, state secretary at the ministry, was a member of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bahn, the national railways company, which is set to privatize a one-quarter stake in its passenger and freight operations.

Amid worldwide anger at large bonuses for executives, many Germans were critical of a generous bonus package promised by Bahn to executives when the company goes private.

The date of the flotation has been delayed by the world stock markets slide. It had been scheduled for Tuesday this week.

Merkel says German government to boost economy

Merkel says German government to boost economy Berlin - Plans for economy-boosting moves by Germany's government were confirmed Wednesday in Berlin by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a global recession looms.

Addressing Germany's import-export federation BGA in Berlin, she said the package would include "focussed, bold and sustained" incentives for investment rather than being just a broad-based rise in government spending.

Berlin limits anti-terrorist naval manning at 800

Berlin limits anti-terrorist naval manning at 800 Berlin - Germany's cabinet agreed Wednesday to limit the country's future contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom, the US-led anti-terrorism campaign, to 800 personnel, the Defence Ministry said.

All the personnel are sailors and naval aviators posted to the Horn of Africa and the Mediterranean Sea.

The authorization, expected to be passed November 13 by the German parliament, will no longer extend to a contingent of German commandoes assigned to Afghanistan.

Germany to lower vehicle tax to boost car industry

Berlin - Germany is to boost the ailing car industry by reducing its taxes on low-emission cars, a government spokesman said in Berlin on Wednesday.

Ulrich Wilhelm, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the vehicle-tax changes to be adopted in cabinet on Wednesday next week would be part of a programme to boost the flagging economy.

The disclosure follows days of debate in Berlin about whether to increase government spending, cut taxes or both to ease the effects of an approaching slump.

The car industry in both Europe and the United States has been appealing to governments to act to revive sales.

Wilhelm gave no details but said the package would be a "well-adjusted concept."

Germany appeals for halt in Congo fighting

Berlin  - Germany appealed Wednesday for a halt in the fighting that has escalated in the region near Goma, Congo.