German Chancellor Angela Merkel Injured Skiing, Cancels Poland Trip Merkel reacted furiously last year to revelations that the National Security Agency had been listening in on her mobile, telling Obama in October that this would be a "breach of trust" between two allies. Media reports of American snooping based on documents leaked by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have damaged US relations with key allies and were a political and personal embarrassment for Obama. Washington never confirmed that the eavesdropping had taken place, but implicitly gave credence to the reports by the careful formulation of its response to questions from reporters. The White House said that US spies were not currently monitoring Merkel's phone and would not do so in the future, but would not comment on past surveillance activity. The invitation to Merkel comes as the White House tries to draw a line under the Snowden issue, with Obama poised to give a speech to Americans this month detailing how the NSA's massive phone and data collection activities will be reformed. More:

Germany's Merkel To Visit U.S. Amid Anger Over NSA Spying

Amid Anger Over NSA Spying by Krishnadev Calamur i i hide captionPresident Obama walks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 6, 2013. Relations between the two allies are strained after documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, suggested the agency had spied on Merkel and other world leaders. Ivan Sekretarev/AP President Obama walks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in St. More:

Obama invites Merkel to Washington after phone-tap row

The victory is Merkel's, the Washington Post agrees: "Voters cement her status as one of Germany's longest-serving and most influential post-World War II leaders." The paper takes a look ahead at possible coalition partners, and suggests a grand coalition with the Social Democrats could make Germany "more willing to support stimulus packages and be less rigid about austerity when dealing with troubled European partners such as Greece, Spain and Portugal." France's Figaro celebrates the German chancellor: "Merkel plebescitee: She was voted for by the majority of the people!" The French paper concludes the chancellor has begun to write history. Le Monde agrees there "is no getting round Germany and its chancellor." These past weeks, the paper writes, "every important decision at a European level seemed to depend on the outcome of the election." As she starts her third term, like Margaret Thatcher before her, Britain's Daily Telegraph writes, "Angela Merkel has the future of Europe in her hands." The Daily Mail also my company compares Merkel to Margaret Thatcher. El Mundo notes that while Merkel pulled off a historic landslide victory, "a clear partner is not on the horizon yet." The Spanish paper refers to Angela Merkel as the uncrowned queen of Europe and adds she is distinguished by winning three elections in a row, in addition to being the only head of a large European country who managed to confirm her mandate in the midst of the crisis while "Gordon Brown, Berlusconi, Sarkozy and Zapatero had to relinquish power." El Pais suggests Merkel's showing is "unequalled since the days of Chancellor Adenauer 50 years ago." Greece's leading daily Ta Nea comments the outcome of the vote is turning Europe into "Merkel-land". It is, the paper continues, a triumph for the "Queen of austerity." Angela Merkel is unrivaled, Rzeczpospolita from Poland writes, while Gazeta Wyborcza points out the Christian Democratic election victory shows the effectiveness of a campaign that "avoided all conflict with the opponent and convinced Germans that only her government can secure general stability and prosperity." The Neue Zurcher Zeitung is convinced that with her soft-spoken manner and many small compromises, Merkel makes sure nobody feels threatened by her dominance. "Thanks to her understatement, even setbacks are not as noticeable," the Swiss daily writes. On its website, the Basler Zeitung comments that Merkel's typical rhombus hand gesture netted better results than [her Social Democratic opponent's] raised middle finger: "Angela Merkel won a capital result." Austria's Standard writes Merkel's "slalom course" brought the CDU new voters - "the conservatives may be angry, but they have no choice but to grudgingly vote for the chancellor all the same." Her more? info middle-of-the-road course is a "triumph for mediocrity," the paper adds. La Repubblica regards Angela Merkel's election victory as the nation's "ceremonial ovation for her victory in the European crisis." It is, the Italian paper writes, "a triumph, it is the return to the battlefield where she has already proven her skills and her courage." Russia's Rossijskaja Gaseta also comments on Germany's national election. More:

Angela Merkel is under fire as inner circle seek rich pickings elsewhere

But lobbying is not a topic where Angela Merkel can score points, so she simply avoids it. A decade after approving the United Nations convention against corruption, Berlin has yet to ratify it. And the revolving door between Germanys corridors of power and boardrooms rivals the Bundesliga football transfer market. LobbyContol has compiled a list of more than 80 instances of politicians and officials at all levels of German government switching sides in the last decade. The most high-profile case came in 2005 when Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, two weeks after leaving office, landed a lucrative position with the Nordstream gas pipeline being built by Russian gas giant Gazprom . In office Schroder was a champion of German-Russian relations, dubbed president Vladimir Putin a flawless democrat and helped lay much of the groundwork for the pipeline project. Long queue In 2005 there was a long queue of politicians lining up to condemn Schroders post-political career including Ronald Pofalla. More:

Merkel appears on crutches after ski fall

Moritz resort, and initially thought she had just suffered a bruise, said spokesman Steffen Seibert. Merkel consulted her doctor on Friday, after returning to the German capital, and was told she had sustained a pelvic fracture. The injury "makes it necessary for her to lie down a lot for three weeks and to use a walking aid," Seibert said of the chancellor, who has experience on crutches following knee surgery three years ago. Her doctor also advised her against air travel , prompting Merkel to postpone a planned Wednesday visit to Poland, Seibert said. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was expected in Berlin on Thursday, but that meeting has also been put off, the spokesman said. More:,0,5237062.story

International press highlights Merkel triumph

Supported by crutches, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made her first public appearance after it was announced that she had fractured her pelvis in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps. Merkel met with about 100 child carol singers in her Berlin office, joining them in a song to mark epiphany, which celebrates the three wise men's visit to baby Jesus. "I'm not so good at standing and have to lie down a lot," Merkel said welcoming the children to the chancellery on Tuesday. Merkel has been forced to cancel almost all of her other appointments for three weeks after she suffered a fractured pelvis during her Christmas holiday while cross-country skiing in the Engadin valley. This includes a planned visit to Poland and a meeting with the new Luxembourg prime minister, Xavier Bettel. On Wednesday, she will preside over the first cabinet meeting this year. Merkel, 59, was initially thought to have been badly bruised. More: