News Bites

VW’s financing and leasing division booked a record profit but still aims to cut costs and raise productivity.

The OECD reduced its growth forecast for Germany to 1.6% for this year and next, and to 1.4% for 2020, due to trade and financial crises weighing on the global economy.

Winter storms and the drought this summer have caused unprecedented damage to the forests of North Rhine-Westphalia, a report found.

President Donald Trump invited the CEOs of VW, Daimler and BMW to discuss ways to resolve the dispute over automotive tariffs.

After lawmakers’ criticism, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out in favor of the UN Migration Pact. Aiming to improve human rights, it is the first-ever international agreement on migration and was created after thousands of people died trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The European Commission on Wednesday recommended taking disciplinary steps against Italy over its draft 2019 budget, underlining worries that Rome’s ballooning deficit could trigger a larger debt crisis in the EU.

Of the three candidates in the race to succeed Merkel as chair of the CDU, the race is mainly between Annegret Krampe-Karrenbauer and Friedrich Merz. The politicians are trying to win the support of party members in eight regional meetings.

Paris and Berlin agreed on how to proceed with their joint program to build a fighter jet that will replace the French Rafale and the Eurofighter of Germany.

An NGO found that child care allowance for parents to support their children is helping families, and is not being abused, as some had argued.

After revelations of its involvement in Danske’s money-laundering scandal, Deutsche Bank’s shares fell to €8.15. That’s nearly €100 less than at their highest point, in 2007.

Swiss civilian aviation authorities banned the use of Ju 52 planes, a vintage Juncker model, due to a high risk of corrosion.

British Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Brussels for meetings with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, to prepare for a critical Brexit summit this weekend.

Bayer’s Monsanto submitted an appeal against a judgment by a California court challenging a verdict in favor of Dewayne Johnson. He was awarded $78 million in damages after a jury found his lung cancer was linked to the use of the company’s weedkiller.

In 2017, 138,893 people in Germany were victims of domestic violence, 82% of them women. That’s a 0.8% decline on the previous year.

Airbus will appoint Infineon’s Dominik Asam as its new CFO. Michael Schölborn, previously of BSDH Home Appliances, will become the planemaker’s new COO.

The company which runs Berlin’s underground system will keep two metro stations open overnight during the winter so homeless people can sleep there if no other shelter is available. Lawmakers had criticized the BVG’s previous plan to close stations to rough sleepers.

In a bid to protect young people, the European Parliament has called for stricter rules to prevent child pornography, cyberbullying and harmful content.

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Former cabinet member Alexander Dobrindt, a top official of the Bavarian wing of Angela Merkel’s center-right alliance, has joined the call for a five-year term for the federal parliament and chancellor, aligning it with practice in Germany’s 16 states. (Reuters)

Labor unions in Germany and France opposed the plans by PSA to outsource research and development at the Opel unit in Germany, complaining that management is sacrificing important resources for short-term profit.

Industry association

Where group talk meets price fixing

Handelsblatt’s companies correspondent says some German trade associations facilitate cartels. They need to stop.

Tesla Sprinters

Tesla’s Musk suggests cooperation with Daimler

Responding to a customer miffed that Tesla’s service vans came from another manufacturer, transportation wunderkind Musk said he will contact the German carmaker about working together.

Arabian Arms

Germany bans all arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid Khashoggi uproar

While other EU countries keep shipping, Berlin clarifies even weapons sales already approved are prohibited until the facts of the regime critic’s death are known.

Connection lost

Telecoms firms slam German 5G auction terms

Berlin's telecoms watchdog wants to raise the bar for operators of the next-generation cellular network. But potential bidders in next year's 5G auction are seething over the costs and even threatening lawsuits.

Editors’ Pick

Moral borders

Enemies pursue Soros in Germany

Hounded by the Hungarian government, the billionaire's charitable foundation has relocated its regional headquarters from Budapest to Berlin, only to find its opponents are regrouping.

Dive In

financial disunity

Germany scuppers grand French plans for euro zone budget

Franco-German agreement on a euro zone budget is only a symbolic victory for France. In negotiations, fiscally conservative Germany got its way, making more rules and decreasing the budget's size.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

Much about Germany is confusing or surprising to foreigners - and even to Germans. Our editors provide clarity.

self starters

Immigrants could fuel a startup boom in Germany

Germans are comfy in their jobs and the number of entrepreneurs has been falling for years. Immigrants could plug the gap because they’re less risk-averse.

goodwill goes bad

German companies may be stockpiling too much goodwill

Many German firms have overpaid for acquisitions. On their balance sheets, the excess is listed as “goodwill,” a highly intangible asset. If the economy slows, that could mean big trouble.

Courier Rights

The dark side of Germany’s online shopping boom

Eastern European drivers are often enticed to Germany over Christmas to deliver parcels during peak season. But once here, promises of high wages, health insurance and decent hours are regularly broken.

Change Management

VW boss wants to make history as well as cars

In the next five years, Herbert Diess must revolutionize Volkswagen, making it a leaner, cleaner, technology-focused company. If he fails, it could spell disaster for the car industry, and maybe the entire German economy.

SME Power

Mittelstand

Volkswagen, Bayer and Adidas are household names. But more than 95 percent of Germany's economy is generated by lesser-known firms that aren’t listed on the blue-chip DAX Index.

Anti-Semitism

Why we must defend George Soros

A vile tradition of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories runs from the Dreyfus affair through today’s slanders against George Soros.

Armin Laschet

Germany’s next top Chancellor candidate

The prime minister of Germany’s most populous state is not running for Angela Merkel’s job as head of her party. But that doesn’t mean the popular and powerful politician doesn’t have designs on running Germany eventually.

Pocketbook politics

CDU hopefuls trip over each other to offer tax relief to party base

Merz, Kramp-Karrenbauer and Spahn are using tax reform as a sign of how they plan to revitalize the Christian Democratic Union, as they race to succeed Merkel as the party's chairperson.

Gold bricks

German real estate

Long tipped as a rising star in the European market, Germany has finally come into its own. Our series on residential property highlights some favorite cities for expats and investors alike.

Drone rangers

German billionaire invests in drone-defense startup

Dedrone is a warning system to help airports, oil refineries and smart cities protect their airspace from menacing drones.

A new spark

VW revamps production for the electric age

The world's biggest carmaker plans to make rechargeable vehicles at three German factories, snubbing the technology that spawned Dieselgate. One plant will churn out models half the price of a Tesla.

Promise of an 'outsider'

Friedrich Merz could bring Europe new opportunities

The seasoned aspirant to the CDU leadership could breathe new life into euro-zone reform, writes a leading EU analyst.

Be our guest

Germany pins hopes on immigration law to fill skilled-worker gap

Despite hiccups and criticism, a draft of Germany's first-ever, liberalized immigration law addresses the most urgent concerns of business.

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