Matthew Karnitschnig
Matthew Karnitschnig
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Sebastian Kurz: From political wunderkind to rogue operator

Sebastian Kurz: From political wunderkind to rogue operator

A sweeping corruption investigation has destroyed the Austrian leader’s fresh-faced image.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced bySebastian Kurz, a political wunderkind who became Austria’s leader at just 31, rose to power by cultivating a youthful, do-gooder image that endeared him to young and old alike.And then he went rogue.A cache of between the center-right chancellor and his deputies and other correspondence uncovered by Austrian authorities as part of a sweeping investigation into political corruption portrays Kurz not as the well-mannered “” who captured the heart of his...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Apr 8
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EU foreign policy RIP

EU foreign policy RIP

Josep Borrell’s trip to Russia marked the end of Europe’s geopolitical ambitions.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byMatthew Karnitschnig is POLITICO’s chief Europe correspondent.European foreign policy died in Moscow last week. The burial will be held at sea this spring, some 35 fathoms under the Baltic, where a towering Russian vessel called “” is laying the final section of the 1,230 kilometer-long Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. While the end of Europe’s geopolitical ambitions was long in coming, the coup de grâce was a jaw-dropper, if only because it was...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Feb 13
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Blame von der Leyen

Blame von der Leyen

Responsibility for Europe’s vaccine debacle lies with the European Commission president.It’s time to talk about Ursula von der Leyen.Brussels spinmeisters, aided and abetted by the legions of EU apologists across the Continent, have staged an impressive diversion in recent days.“AstraZeneca is screwing Europe over!” they shouted from the .“Did you know Pfizer is an American company?” they , eyebrows raised, followed by a : “Let’s not play the blame game!”What triggered the touchiness was the uncomfortable realization that it has become painfully obvious that the real culprit behind what’s...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Feb 4
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Why the Gerhard Sabathil spy probe fell apart

Why the Gerhard Sabathil spy probe fell apart

Exonerated EU ambassador Gerhard Sabathil says Chinese whisper campaign put him under suspicion of espionage.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byBERLIN — A dead ex-journalist, a blind Chinese dissident and a suspected spy codenamed “Johnny.”These are just a few of the players in the motley cast of characters German counterintelligence assembled to against Gerhard Sabathil, the former EU ambassador cleared last month of spying for China, in a high-profile investigation that heightened fears of Chinese infiltration in core European institutions and sent tremors across the...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Dec 4
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German prosecutor drops spy case against ex-EU envoy Sabathil

German prosecutor drops spy case against ex-EU envoy Sabathil

Retired diplomat had been under suspicion over ties to China.Press play to listen to this articleVoiced byBERLIN — German authorities have dropped an espionage probe into former EU Ambassador Gerhard Sabathil after a nearly yearlong investigation failed to back up allegations that the retired diplomat had spied for China, according to two people familiar with the case.The Karlsruhe-based Federal Prosecutor’s Office sent a letter to Sabathil and his two alleged co-conspirators dated November 18, informing them that the official investigation had ended and that no charges would be filed, the...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Nov 24
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Q&A: German leadership candidate Norbert Röttgen

Q&A: German leadership candidate Norbert Röttgen

Norbert Röttgen | Maja Hitij/Getty ImagesAs part of a series on the race to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor, POLITICO's Chief Europe Correspondent Matthew Karnitschnig , chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee. Röttgen is one of three candidates in the running to take over the leadership of the governing center-right Christian Democrats (CDU).The following is a transcript of the interview, lightly edited for length and clarity.POLITICO: How do you view Europe’s relationship with China? Is there any chance we could see the investment agreement that has been under...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Sep 28
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German chancellor hopeful says Trump win risks transatlantic collapse

German chancellor hopeful says Trump win risks transatlantic collapse

Norbert Roettgen, a prominent member of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) | Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesPress play to listen to this articleVoiced byBERLIN — A senior member of Germany’s ruling conservatives delivered a stark warning on the future of transatlantic ties, saying the reelection of Donald Trump as U.S. president could endanger the alliance and open the door for China and other powers to try and fill the vacuum.Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee and candidates in the running to take over the leadership of the center-right Christian...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Sep 28
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The Austrian ski town that spread coronavirus across the Continent

The Austrian ski town that spread coronavirus across the Continent

The lively après-ski scene that draws millions to Ischgl every winter proved to be a perfect incubator for coronavirus | Daniel Kopatsch/EPAA popular among the Alpine party set celebrates the Tyrolean village of Ischgl as a “white winter’s dream.” For recent visitors, the town has become something more akin to a prolonged nightmare.The lively après-ski scene that draws millions to the town every winter proved to be a perfect incubator for the coronavirus. Authorities believe that busloads of European visitors departed the village known as the “Ibiza of the Alps” (and not in a good way) in...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
Mar 19, 2020
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Merkel rebuffs Trump invitation to G7 summit

Merkel rebuffs Trump invitation to G7 summit

BERLIN — Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G7 summit, which the U.S. president is keen to portray as a symbol of a return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis."The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told POLITICO Friday."She will of course continue to monitor the development of the...

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Matthew Karnitschnig
May 29
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