News Bites

Schleswig-Holstein’s state prosecutor is preparing to extradite Carles Puigdemont to Spain, although the state’s top court has ruled the ousted Catalan president cannot be rearrested after he was freed on bail last month.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella is expected later on Tuesday to nominate little-known law professor Giuseppe Conte of the anti-establishment Five Star movement as the country’s new prime minister.

German carmakers, especially BMW, will benefit from the Chinese government’s decision to cut tariffs on car imports from between 20-25% to 15% for certain models and on auto parts to 6%. The new tariffs go into effect July 1.

It’s a German tradition at every school break — frugal parents taking their kids a day or two early to get a cheaper flight. Police nabbed and fined 21 families at Bavarian airports on Sunday for disregarding the country’s strict schooling laws.

Of the 175 Chinese investments of more than 10% in German high-tech companies between 2014 and 2017, two-thirds were in the 10 key sectors identified by Beijing as areas to dominate by 2025, a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation found.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has signaled interest in succeeding Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank, in an interview with the Funke media group. It was his strongest hint so far in pursuing the job.

Russia picked up the €25,000 tab for a chartered flight to Moscow last year for Frauke Petry and her husband, Marcus Pretzell, former leading members of the Alternative for Germany, a far-right party also called AfD. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

The British government is considering bringing criminal charges against carmakers accused of using emission-cheating software, in a move to prevent another Dieselgate.

The European Parliament will stream its questioning of Mark Zuckerberg about the Facebook data scandal.

David Volkerts-Landau, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, criticized decisions made by Josef Ackermann, a former boss, saying these continue to hamper the bank.

BASF’s operations in Ludwigsburg stopped on Monday due to an electrical fault.

Ankara criticized Germany’s ban on campaigns for foreign elections ahead of Turkey’s vote on June 24.

Brussels called on Berlin to help set up an EU-wide tax on plastics that cannot be recycled.

Venezuela declared Nicolás Maduro the winner of its presidential election. The US, EU and several countries in Latin America refused to recognize the results.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 meeting of foreign ministers, Heiko Maas underlined his commitment to the Iran nuclear deal. He said it makes Europe safer. (ARD)

Aid organizations criticized Germany’s plans to set up centers to process refugees more quickly and deport unsuccessful asylum seekers.

At a WHO meeting, the health minister, Jens Spahn, promised €5 million to combat Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cecilia Malmström, Europe’s trade commissioner, said she wouldn’t negotiate with the US until Trump “stops pointing the gun at our chest.” (Spiegel)

Soccer fans were shocked when Frankfurt beat Bayern Munich in the German Cup final on Saturday.

The populist Alternative for Germany party has asked the Constitutional Court to review Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open the borders to refugees. It claims the move was illegal because parliament didn’t give its approval. (ARD)

The refugee crisis has so far cost Germany €43.25 billion and will likely require an additional €80 billion in the next four years, according to a government report. Future costs will help educate and integrate refugees. (Bild)

Brexit with Benefits

How German companies can capitalize on Brexit

Surveys predict doom and gloom for companies with British business ties, but in reality many take a wait-and-see attitude. Some are even increasing UK production.

Zwilling knives, german mittelstand

Cutting Edge

How knifemaker Zwilling stays sharp

Germany's Zwilling has been making knives for 287 years, but sales continue to rise with their expansion into cookware and embrace of social media.

African Treasures

German museums pushed to review colonial-era artifacts ‘blind spot’

Germany's new 130-page code of conduct should help museums determine whether colonial-era artifacts were taken unlawfully. But then what?

trying talk

Merkel plays the long game with Putin in Sochi

At a high-stakes meeting, the German and Russian leaders pledged cooperation, but danced around their differing positions on Syria and Ukraine.

Editors’ Pick

Church and state

Expats beware: Germany uses dodgy tactics to snatch church tax

Germany has a church tax — unimaginable in the US or France. Anyone who was ever baptized or christened and has not officially left the church is liable.

Dive In

Butt out

How Germany is smoking other countries in e-cigarette regulation

Regulations-heavy Germany has taken a surprisingly lax stance on e-cigarettes and vaping laws. It's the right approach, writes a policy analyst.

Weekly Review

The (still)birth of a European foreign policy

Iran, Gaza, Jerusalem: If ever the time was right for EU countries to unite in their foreign policy as in their trade policy, it is now, says our editor-in-chief. Alas, that still doesn’t make it likely.

All at sea

How did shipping firm P&R lose 1 million containers?

Investors could lose more than $4 billion after the bankruptcy of shipping container leasing firm P&R. To make matters worse, prosecutors are now investigating how the company “mislaid” a million of its storage units.

Investment fears

Chinese take away another German firm, eventually

Berlin is increasingly worried about Chinese firms buying up German companies and know-how. But its extra scrutiny of deals is stifling investment, says the boss of plane-part supplier Cotesa, the latest Chinese acquisition.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Nationalist comrades

Far-right unionists gain popularity despite rising wages

Capitalizing on workers’ fear of innovation, labor representatives with far-right AfD sympathies are gaining ground at Germany’s corporate icons, from Volkswagen to Mercedes-Benz to SAP.

DAX

Profit and Loss Check

Once a year, we take a critical look at the financial health of selected German blue-chip companies around the time of their annual shareholders' meetings.

Power Play

Uniper faces probe over Fortum takeover bid

US investor Paul Singer has joined calls for a special auditor to examine why Uniper has been so hostile to a takeover bid by Fortum.

Trans-Atlantic Failure

All-out war of words among Germany, EU and US

From Iran to trade to Russia, this is shaping up to be a critical week for trans-Atlantic ties. The US and EU are on a collision course across the board.

Hard nein

German economists scoff at Macron’s euro-zone reform proposals

Sorry Macron. In the bloc’s biggest economy, most top financial experts are against a euro-zone budget and finance minister, according to a new survey.

Classified Chemicals

Deadly Russian poison Novichok cataloged by Germany in the ’90s

Germany’s intelligence agency shared the chemical formula for Novichok, the deadly Russian neurotoxin, with the US and Britain.

Free rider

Germany’s great European defense heist

Europe needs a security strategy for the 21st century, as well as reforms in the euro zone. Germany makes both difficult. But what if you applied the same German logic about the eurozone to defense policy?

Hot Button Issues