Stefan Theil

Greece Is Far From The EU's Only Joker

First there was Enron; then, subprime. Now it turns out that some governments have been just as adept at using financial alchemy to hide debts. Take Greece, a country with a $350 billion national debt that is now under investigation by the European Commission (EC) for underreporting its deficit by as much as 9 percent of GDP in 2009.

East European Writers Take on Communism

György Dragomán was 3 when his father taught him to protect the family's privacy by lying to neighbors and teachers who were often informants for the Hungarian regime. "From then on I lived a double life," says the 36-year-old author, "telling one thing to one set of people and something else to another." For millions of Eastern Europeans, that was the basic survival strategy under communist regimes whose tentacles—and secret-police informants—reached deep into every facet of life.

Dining at Berlin's Hidden Gems

In the 20 years since the fall of the wall, Berlin has turned from a town where eating was best avoided to one of Europe's culinary capitals. Berlin's newest food trend, however, is the rise of cheap, divey restaurants as an unlikely backdrop for delicious food.

Opel Declares War On GM

Check out this take on troubles brewing at General Motors' German Opel unit, from our European economic correspondent, Stefan Theil. Is this the beginning of a new union stand in Germany?

Why Are Germany and Japan Beating the Recession?

What happened to the idea that the U.S.—thanks to massive and early stimulus, radical financial-sector restructuring, and the innate flexibility of the American economy—would recover from the global recession before Europe, and certainly before Japan, the perpetual sick man of Asia?This week, unexpected OECD data showed Japan growing 0.9 percent in the second quarter.

German Banks are Among the World's Worst

How is it that supposedly rock-solid germany is home to some of the world's worst banks, while profligate Italy's rank among the best? With no housing bubble or consumer-credit boom (most Germans don't even use credit cards), German banks had to work overtime to amass the ¤700 billion in impaired assets they're estimated to hold.

Berlin Is Cheap

In Paris, laid-off factory workers have taken to kidnapping their bosses. London riots in early April left one man dead outside the Bank of England. In laid-back Berlin, the global economic crisis has, so far, been just another reason to party.