News Bites

“We can no longer rely on the White House unconditionally,” Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said after US President Donald Trump described the EU as a “foe.”

Germany’s largest industrial gas company Linde confirmed it will sell a large part of its business in North and South America to Messer Group, another major German gas business for $3.3 billion.

China International Capital Corp, one of the country’s largest investment banks and a joint venture with Morgan Stanley, has decided to base its European headquarters in Frankfurt.

The organizers of July’s Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin, celebrating gay pride, turned down an application to participate from the right-wing Alternative for Germany political party. Those who encourage an atmosphere of fear are not welcome, they said.

Germany’s culture minister, Monika Grütters, received many compliments on Israeli social media after flying to Tel Aviv on Easyjet. “Angela Merkel is my boss,” she told surprised fellow travelers. It’s quite common for German MPs to use budget airlines, a spokesperson said.

Ridesharing service Uber will start its e-car scheme, Uber Green, in Berlin this fall. Uber Green is already active in Munich.

Germany’s Green party asked financial oversight authorities to check whether Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s so-called “master plan” for migration was inappropriately financed. They say it was a party-political document, not a ministry paper.

The EU-US balance of trade moved in the EU’s favor in the first five months of 2018. EU exports to the US rose 2.1%, while imports from the US fell around 3%. (Eurostat)

Sausage ban: Starting in September, “strong-smelling foods” will be prohibited on the subway in Vienna. The Austrian city joins others like Berlin and Singapore in forbidding snacks on the train.

Voter opinions on German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who almost brought the coalition government down, just keep getting worse. A new RTL/n-tv survey shows 62% of Germans think his position is untenable; that includes 56% of his own party’s supporters.

Deutsche Post bought 14 freight planes from Boeing to deal with growing demand at its subsidiary, the delivery service DHL. The 777s cost $4.7 billion.

A mini-census by Germany’s statistics ministry shows around 72 percent of Germans aged between 18 and 64 are earning their own living through a job – that is, they are not dependent on aid or other people. In particular, the number of women doing so had increased – from around 52% in 2000 to 66% last year.

Deutsche Bank has a far better second quarter than analysts expected and anticipates an EBIT of around €700 million, the bank announced. Deutsche shares rose around 6% as a result.

Germany pledged to take 50 of the 450 asylum seekers on board two rescue ships, which were allowed to land in Sicily, Italy, last night. Four other EU countries will also assist.

We are worried about the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, Niels Annen, a senior minister in Germany’s Foreign Office admitted on national radio this morning. “But we should not forget … Mr. Trump may be the most important representative of his country but he is not the only representative.”

At a press conference in Beijing, Chinese premier Li Keqiang appeared to substantiate rumors that German carmaker BMW will take a 75% share of a new Chinese-German automotive venture. How high a share BMW would take in China’s Brilliance cars had not previously been confirmed.

The EU will sign a historic trade deal with Japan this week. Nicknamed JEFTA, the deal will see a huge increase in free trade, with Japan reducing tariffs on dairy, meat and wine and the EU reducing tariffs on auto imports.

There is still time to prevent a trade war, European Council President Donald Tusk said, before he and other EU officials are to meet senior Chinese politicians in Peking today.

German business remains the most popular European investment for Chinese investors, an EY study found. They have spent $15 billion in the EU this year, of which $10 billion went into Germany.

By 2021, Germans who have public health insurance should be able to access their information on mobile devices, the minister of health said. It is part of the country’s digital drive.

Contrary to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s plans, German police will not play a major role in so-called “anchor centers,” the one-stop processing centers for asylum-seekers.

More Tunisians are being deported from Germany than previously. In 2017, 251 Tunisians were sent home. In the first six months of 2018, 155 have already left.

US President Donald Trump called Russia, China and the European Union foes. “Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe,” he told CBS News.

Angelique Kerber is the first German female player to win a Wimbledon title in 22 years.

A Ryanair flight made an emergency landing in Frankfurt after a sudden drop in cabin pressure. Many passengers, who reported nausea, pain and bleeding ears, are outraged by how the company handled the incident.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned US President Donald Trump against making unilateral deals that could hurt the US’ Western allies, ahead of Mr. Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday. (Reuters)

Germany will take in 50 of 450 migrants rescued off the coast of Italy, after Rome called for other EU members to take in their fair share of asylum seekers. Malta and France will also take in 50.

US President Donald Trump again attacked Germany over its participation in the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. He said it was a “terrible thing” as the pipeline weakened Germany and strengthened Russia.

New temporary ThyssenKrupp boss Guido Kerkhoff said he will continue the restructuring process started by his predecessor Heinrich Hiesinger, including pushing ahead with the controversial merger of the group’s steel division with Tata Steel. Owner the Krupp Foundation said it also backed both.

Wanna get rich quick? Move to Germany. The private wealth of Germans has reached a record level, with household assets reaching a total value of €5.875 trillion in the last quarter, the Bundesbank said.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Germany had not agreed to fast-track defense spending at this week’s NATO summit. Critics had accused the government of bowing to US pressure to reach NATO’s spending target of 2% of GDP more quickly.

Ryanair accused archrival Lufthansa of trying to destabilize its new acquisition, Austrian airline Laudamotion. The Irish airline said Germany’s flagcarrier was trying to reclaim nine aircraft it had leased to Laudamotion, in breach of an EU ruling.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Britain’s Brexit white paper. “We are pleased that Great Britain is now putting its own detailed position on the table,” said her spokesman.

Leading members of the Social Democrats, Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners, criticized the chancellor’s reported plans to increase defense spending. Germany had caved in to US pressure, said deputy chairman Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel. (Rheinische Post)

Germany and France will never be divided by Donald Trump’s punitive trade tariffs against the EU, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. Unity is the best response to the dispute, he added.

Winner of the day Kerber helps Germany get over World Cup defeat “Who is still talking about football?” asked Barbara Rittner of public television station ZDF. German sports fans may have mourned their country’s ignominious exit from the World Cup, but they got more than a consolation prize over the weekend as Angelique Kerber became the first German to win Wimbledon in 22 years, defeating Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday. German tennis has struggled to match the bygone glory of Steffi Graf and Boris Becker. But with Ms. Kerber now a three-time Grand Slam champion and Alexander Zverev knocking on the door in the men's draw, a new generation of fans might not be far behind. Source: DPA
Number of the day Deutsche finally surprises on the upside It’s been a while since Deutsche Bank has been in the good graces of investors. Shares tumbled to a record low of around €9 per share last month as Germany’s largest bank struggled mightily to boost earnings and cut costs. On Monday, the bank finally gave shareholders something to cheer about: Deutsche said it would post net income of €400 million in the second quarter of 2018. That was well above the average prediction from analysts of around €159 million. Bank shares soared more than 7%.
Fallout of the day Trans-Atlanticist Merz bashes Tichy’s populism It’s not every day that one is awarded a major prize – and even rarer that one chooses to reject it. Friedrich Merz (pictured right) is a former chairman of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and current head of the Atlantik Brücke (Atlantic Bridge) think tank. But he rejected an annual award by the Ludwig Erhard Stiftung, a storied foundation for German free marketeers. Past winners have included former chancellor Gerhard Schröder. According to a letter from the jury, Mr. Merz said he didn’t want to share a stage with the foundation’s current head, Roland Tichy (pictured left), a journalist whose online portal “Tichy’s Einblick” critics charge with becoming too cozy with right-wing populists. Four jury members also resigned, complaining it’s not the first time Mr. Tichy’s views have led prominent politicians to decline an appearance at the foundation. Contacted by Handelsblatt, Mr. Tichy denied the rift. Mr. Merz was simply uncomfortable with receiving awards in general, he said. Aren’t we all? Source: DPA/Picture Alliance, Imago
Graphic of the day Netflix chills in Germany Online streaming is not-so-quietly outpacing traditional television around the world. It might be a slower process in Germany, but the trend is in the same direction. A 2018 survey found that 40 percent of Germans use streaming services at least once a week – up from 30 percent in 2017 and 22 percent in 2016. But move over, Netflix. Amazon Prime has the lion’s share of the German market.

Their darkest hour

US-loving Germans planning life without trans-Atlantic ties

Hope springs eternal for an elite cadre of dedicated trans-Atlanticists in Germany, who are working out how to deal with Donald Trump’s anti-European rhetoric and maintain the world order the way they like it.

Digital Estate

German court rules Facebook content is inheritable, just like a diary

A landmark ruling from Germany’s high court has set aside privacy concerns and put digital assets on the same footing as physical assets after death.

Editors’ Pick

Murder most foul

Doubts grow over ‘suicide’ of Bavaria’s fairytale king

Speculation about the death of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II in 1886 has swirled for decades, like the Alpine mist that wafts across the turrets of his world-famous Neuschwanstein palace. New research suggests the official verdict of suicide was fake news.

Dive In


No end in sight for Munich’s real-estate rush

Bavaria’s capital is Germany’s most expensive city to buy or rent property. With demand steady and supply constricted, prices look set to keep pressing upward.

Murder most foul

Doubts grow over ‘suicide’ of Bavaria’s fairytale king

Speculation about the death of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II in 1886 has swirled for decades, like the Alpine mist that wafts across the turrets of his world-famous Neuschwanstein palace. New research suggests the official verdict of suicide was fake news.

european parliament

EU financial watchdog ESMA will get less bite than planned

European lawmakers aim to scale back Brussels' plans to give the stock market regulator new powers. National supervisors are resisting reforms that would weaken them.

News gallery

In case you missed it

Today's spotlight falls on a mummy's diet, Trump's Brexit snub, ThyssenKrupp's stand-in and terminal delays.

Summit shock

In, out and down in NATO

Donald Trump knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, not even of the Western alliance, says Andreas Kluth. The onus is on Germany to respond.

Farcical contradictions

Trump ditches diplomacy, makes NATO summit all about deals

The Brussels conference was shaped by the president’s wavering commitment to the alliance and hounding of members to spend more.

Mifid II fallout

EU securities regulator probes pricing of stock data

Should stock exchanges profit from securities data? The European securities watchdog, ESMA, is examining the matter after exchange operators raised fees charged to banks, brokers and high-frequency traders.

Germany agrees

Commission’s debt oversight too lax, EU auditors find

The European Commission has been too lax in monitoring euro-zone debt, the European Court of Auditors warns. The accusation jibes with criticism from the ECB, Germany and other EU countries.

Golden goals

Nike trounces Adidas to clinch World Cup title

Nike 1 – Adidas 0. Despite spending millions of dollars to be an official partner, Adidas has lost out to US arch-rival Nike in the battle of the sportswear sponsors at the soccer tournament.

Terrible tariffs

Clothing discounter KiK stops US launch, blaming Trump

The German retailer had planned to open stores in America but has decided it’s too risky because of Donald Trump’s escalating trade war. Instead, expansion in Europe will get priority.

placing bets

Hedge funds target Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank with short sales

Big investors are betting on further declines in the share price of Germany's top banks. The short selling, a disputed trading technique, only adds to downward pressure on the stocks.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

corporate spying

German firms see their data at risk in China

This week, Berlin and Beijing pledged deeper technological cooperation, but now German businesses worry new Chinese cyber-laws could open the floodgates to industrial espionage.

Dangerously inefficient

Terrorists slipping through net thanks to anti-money laundering unit delays

The Financial Intelligence Unit is overworked and understaffed, say police and prosecutors. Staff only pass on tips six months after crimes are committed, creating a "security catastrophe."

adapt or die

Study: Big pharma must move from ‘blockbuster drugs’ to big data

The value of the pharmaceutical industry in Germany is doubling. But drug companies need to move into the digital era in a hurry, if they want to keep profit margins high, a new study warns.

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