Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Stalled: Germany

Posted by hkarner - 14. November 2018

Date: 14-11-2018

Source: The Economist

The economy haD been trundling along quite nicely in recent years, thanks to buoyant global trade and rock-bottom interest rates. But third-quarter figures out today show German growth going into reverse: GDP declined 0.2% on the previous quarter. One big factor is stricter vehicle-emissions tests, introduced after a series of cheating scandals. Carmakers put the brakes on production as they raced to ensure their inventories had the new certificates.

Production slipped by 9% in the three months to August, compared with the previous three months. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Auf Wiedersehen, and Good Riddance

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2018

Philippe Legrain, a former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission, is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and the founder of Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), an international think-tank whose mission is to advance open, liberal societies. His most recent book is European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right .

Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision not to seek reelection in the next federal election has come as a surprise, it was long overdue. Merkel’s „steady hand on the tiller“ has guided the German and European ship of state directly into the populists‘ line of fire.

LONDON – She has been dubbed the Queen of Europe and, since US President Donald Trump’s election, the leader of the free world. As the European Union has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past decade, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s steady hand has helped hold the bloc together. According to the conventional wisdom, when she hands over the chancellorship after Germany’s next federal election in 2021 – and perhaps much sooner if her grand coalition collapses – she will be sorely missed.

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How Angela Merkel Foiled a Backroom Coup in One Late Display of Clout

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2018

Date: 04-11-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

By taking herself out of the running to lead the ruling party, the German chancellor dragged its succession process into the light for the first time in decades

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October.

BERLIN—The era of Angela Merkel was clearly coming to an end a week ago, and Wolfgang Schäuble was prepared to jump in. An elder statesman and veteran of German political battles, he had been secretly developing a succession plan, typical of changes-of-guard in the ruling party.

Then last Monday, Ms. Merkel dragged the party’s succession process into the light for the first time in decades.

By taking herself out of the running for her post as party chairwoman, she pulled the rug out from under the small group of men engineering the post-Merkel era, and cued up a rare public race for her crown—an open contest that looks set to redraw the political contours of the country and Europe in ways few anticipated.

Ms. Merkel had managed to pull off one late coup even in her moment of weakness, with a maneuver that leaves her with more control of the outcome—and of the terms of her departure—than if she had left the succession to her party. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Angela Merkel’s Vision Problem

Posted by hkarner - 4. November 2018

Date: 03-11-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Yascha Mounk

With the Right Rising, Germany Needs to Do More Than Stay the Course

As the head of the country’s biggest political party for eighteen years, and its chancellor for twelve, Angela Merkel has done more to shape contemporary Germany than any postwar leader other than Konrad Adenauer, Willy Brandt, and Helmut Kohl. So her recent announcement that she will hand over the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) this December, and refrain from seeking another term in federal elections expected to be held in 2021, marks the beginning of the end of an era.

Since Merkel has been a deeply stabilizing force, and political extremists are lying in wait to exploit her departure, it is only natural to wonder how the country will change in the coming years. Will the CDU lurch to the right after its proudly moderate leader leaves the stage? Can the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has already established itself as a major force in German politics, use the power vacuum she leaves behind to its advantage? Or might a change of political personnel actually help to calm the anger that Merkel has increasingly inspired in the past years?

These are all important questions that concern the country’s likely future. But in order to understand the political predicament in which Germany now finds itself, and make an educated guess as to how Merkel’s departure might change the country, it is first necessary to understand the legacy she leaves behind. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Überschuldung: Mittelstand mit erheblichen Problemen

Posted by Wolfgang Wimmer - 31. Oktober 2018

Viele Mittelständler erwirtschaften keinen Gewinn/ Allerdings hohe Überlebensfähigkeit

Die Verfasser der Studie kamen zu dem Ergebnis, dass knapp sieben Prozent der Unternehmen in dem dreijährigen Untersuchungszeitraum ausschließlich Verluste schrieben. Bei den kleinen Unternehmen (bis zwei Millionen Euro Umsatz) waren es sogar 13 Prozent, bei mittelgroßen Unternehmen mit über zwei Millionen bis 43 Millionen Euro Umsatz immerhin noch acht Prozent. Bei größeren Mittelständlern mit einem Umsatz von über 43 Millionen Euro lag die Zahl deutlich niedriger. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Win for Trump, Merkel Changes Course on U.S. Gas Imports

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2018

Date: 22-10-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Chancellor calls her decision to open Germany up to U.S. liquefied natural gas a ‘strategic’ move

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called a decision to co-finance a liquefied natural gas shipping terminal a ‘strategic’ move, according to people familiar with the matter.

BERLIN—Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered government support to efforts to open up Germany to U.S. gas, a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s largest energy market.

Over breakfast this month, the chancellor told a small group of lawmakers her government had decided to co-finance the construction of a €500 million ($576 million) liquefied natural gas shipping terminal in northern Germany, according to people familiar with the meeting, giving a crucial nudge to a project that had failed to get off the ground for years in a country that gets most of its gas cheaply from Russia.

Mr. Trump has intensively lobbied Europe to buy significant amounts of LNG as part of his campaign to rewrite the terms of trade relations. German and U.S. officials said Berlin hoped embracing U.S. gas might help solve a protracted trade dispute and possibly even defuse threats by Washington to sanction Nord Stream 2, an unbuilt German-Russian gas pipeline that would double Russia’s existing gas export capacity to Germany. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Twilight of German Conservatism

Posted by hkarner - 16. Oktober 2018

Date: 15-10-2018
Source: Foreign Policy by Georg Diez

Why Angela Merkel Presides Over a Movement in Crisis

Much ink has been spilled on the collapse of European social democracy, and Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) provides a perfect case study. Once a proud political heavyweight that raked in upward of 40 percent of the vote, the SPD still governs the country as part of a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, but now polls at a meager 16 percent, the same as the environmentalist Green party and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The German left’s fall from behemoth to sideshow has provided fodder for endless commentary: Did it fail to address the ills of globalized capitalism? Are all of its policy solutions obsolete?

Much less talked about, but just as brutal, has been the decline of German conservatism. For a long time, there was little to complain about: Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), have been in power for the last 13 years. Merkel herself is on track to become the country’s longest-ruling postwar chancellor, tied only with her onetime mentor Helmut Kohl. But her party is hovering at an all-time low of 26 percent in national polls, with poor prospects in two crucial state elections and deep internal rifts. Merkel seems increasingly embattled, and many speculate that her reign as the eternal chancellor is nearing its end. What this means for Germany or for conservatism as a whole is unclear. But coming at a moment when the aggressive nationalism, racism, and xenophobia of right-wing populists has put liberal values on the defensive across Europe, the crisis of German conservatism spells trouble for the continent’s project of transnational unity. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy Issues a Euro Dare to Germany

Posted by hkarner - 13. Oktober 2018

Date: 12-10-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Rome would be foolish to leave the currency, but it could accidentally goad Berlin to push it out.

Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Giovanni Tria

There Italy goes, threatening to blow up the euro again. The uproar over the budget proposal put forward by the new left-right insurgent government has reignited fears that the eurozone’s third-largest economy is on the path to fiscal ruin and will drag the rest of the currency bloc down with it. It could happen, although not in the way or for the reason you may think.

The numbers look bad. The coalition of the right-wing League and sort-of-left-wing 5 Star Movement is proposing to overspend revenues by 2.4% of gross domestic product for the next few years—and that’s if GDP growth meets their rosy assumptions. This is a crisis, we’re led to believe, compared with the 1.6% of GDP deficit Brussels might otherwise have accepted from technocratic Economy Minister Giovanni Tria.

If a 0.8-point difference in budget projections sounds to you like a flimsy reed on which to hang a currency crisis, you’re not alone. The strongest case for the degree of upset this budget is causing is that it’s clear Rome’s new leaders have no plan for paying down a national debt equal to 130% of GDP. Italy is probably too big to be saved by other eurozone countries—and were it to renege on its debts, it could well bring down a smattering of French and German banks with it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany’s Socialism of Fools

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2018

Michael Bröning

Michael Bröning is Head of the International Policy Department of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a think tank affiliated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

By adopting a program based on „identity and solidarity,“ Germany’s far-right AfD is harking back to classic National Socialism. It is likely to be a winning formula in this month’s state elections in Bavaria and Hesse.

BERLIN – If opinion polls counted as elections, large parts of Germany would already be governed by the far right. In several eastern German states, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has established itself as the strongest political force. Almost everywhere else in the country, the party currently ranks second – on par or just ahead of the struggling Social Democrats (SPD) and behind only Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

In coming weeks, matters could get even worse. In regional elections in Bavaria on October 14 and in Hesse two weeks later, the AfD is poised to enter the two last remaining regional parliaments without far-right representation.

Concerns about immigration continue to fuel this surge. In the eastern city of Chemnitz, recent anti-foreigner riots and pro-tolerance rallies provided a stark reminder of how divided the German public remains on migration. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.S. and EU—but Not Germany— Support Land Swap in Balkans

Posted by hkarner - 30. September 2018

Date: 29-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Washington and Brussels favor Serbia and Kosovo redrawing their border along ethnic lines, an approach Berlin says would open Pandora’s box

BRUSSELS—U.S. and European Union leaders are converging toward supporting a plan under which two Balkan countries would redraw their fraught common border along ethnic lines, isolating Germany, the continent’s most influential power, in its rejection of that approach, a confidential document shows.

A recent memo by the EU’s foreign service about how to solve a decade-old standoff between Serbia and Kosovo, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows the EU’s executive body has essentially adopted Washington’s argument and rejected Germany’s.

While the agreement indicates that Europe and the U.S. continue to work closely together on foreign-policy initiatives affecting the region, the rift with Germany also shows Washington’s willingness to ignore objections by the continent’s leading power in its own backyard. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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