News Bites

Ten families from five EU countries, as well as from Fiji and Kenya, are suing Brussels over its weak climate targets, saying their fundamental rights are being violated even if they live outside the trading bloc, said eco group Germanwatch.

A slowdown in euro-zone growth, which has nearly halved since the beginning of the year, has the ECB worried and watchful for a more pronounced drop, as risks to the economic outlook for all member states and across different sectors have increased.

AfD voters are more pessimistic than other party voters, with 83% seeing dark days ahead if the country continues on its current path, according to a survey by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

There have been 67 confirmed cases of measles in Cologne this year, the worst outbreak in 16 years. Most people infected with the highly contagious virus are between 20 and 25 years old.

German retail company Peek & Cloppenburg used a Nazi-related slogan “Jedem das Seine” – “to each his own” – in an advertising campaign. The cynical words appeared on the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Deutsche Bank confirmed it will cut more than 7,000 jobs, with its equity business reduced by 25%. Reports yesterday suggested the figure would be closer to 10,000.

US President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Commerce to examine whether car imports are a threat to US national security. He is reportedly considering a 25% import tax on vehicles and parts.

Berlin is reportedly backing a threat by senior European Commission officials to block Britain from using the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system when it leaves the bloc. (The Times)

An attempt to defuse a World War II bomb in Dresden failed when part of the weapon detonated, causing a fire. Almost 9,000 evacuees must now wait for another attempt when the bomb has cooled.

Some 5,548 failed asylum seekers were deported from Germany in the first quarter of 2018, but another 4,752 remained after their repatriation was prevented. In many cases, pilots refused to fly them home. (Funke Media Group)

A Paraguayan tribe has taken over the search for a missing Austrian traveler after officials failed to locate him. Wilhelm Wabnegg was last heard from in the Defensores del Chaco park on May 2.

The number of British firms relocating to Germany jumped by 20% in 2017 to 152. The Germany Trade and Invest agency said Brexit was behind the increased investment. (Reuters)

Bayern Munich, Germany’s biggest soccer club, is the fourth-most valuable club in Europe at €2.55 billion. Top was Britain’s Manchester United at €3.25 billion, a KPMG study found.

Former Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan was fired in April due to the supervisory board’s discontent with his management and a “series of indiscretions,” revealed chairman Paul Achleitner.

Want something done in Germany? Go to Ingolstadt in Bavaria. The city’s Audi factory has the highest productivity per employee in Germany, a study by the Ifo research institute found.

Last year, more apartments were built in Germany than at any time since 2002. Completions rose 2.6% to 284,800, but critics say this is still inadequate.

Apple reportedly signed a deal with Volkswagen to equip VW vans with its self-driving technology and use them to transport staff at its California HQ. The tech giant abandoned its own attempt to make an electric vehicle in 2016.

Germany’s economy stuttered in the first quarter as GDP grew by the lowest rate for 18 months. It was up just 0.3% on the previous quarter.

Consumer confidence in Germany is predicted to fall in June, its second successive drop. The GfK barometer forecast a decline of 0.1 points to 10.7.

Germany and China will strengthen their ties in the high-tech sector, especially in self-driving vehicles, said Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is visiting Beijing, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecoms firm, will tie future dividend payments to profits rather than cash flow. As the majority owner, the German government stands to benefit most.

Germany slipped again in the annual ranking of the world’s most competitive economies by Swiss business school IMD, falling to 15th place in 2018, compared with 6th place in 2014. (Reuters)

The EU called upon Berlin to improve its tax system in order to encourage more public and private investment. Germany should also better support research, education and the broadband network.

The organizer of the Love Parade was questioned in court as part of an investigation into what went wrong at the event in Duisburg in 2010, when 21 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

Fearful of a transfer union, 154 economists and professors wrote to a German daily warning against French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals for a shared European budget and a single finance minister for the euro zone. (FAZ)

Health Minister Jens Spahn presented a plan to create 13,000 new posts in nursing care.

Picture of the day Cooling their heels A World War II shell uncovered in the once-heavily bombed city of Dresden partly detonated as authorities tried to defuse it. A small fire broke out, and the bomb squad will try again once the device cools down. Some 9,000 local residents will just have to steer clear. Source: DPA
Quote of the day The clash After meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas left with the sense that the United States and the European Union face "completely different paths" when it comes to the Iran deal, with no resolution in sight. The US withdrew from the accord earlier this month, but European powers including Germany, France and the United Kingdom hope to save it.
Leaders of the day Thank heavens for my old China Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Beijing today for a two-day visit with China's Premier Li Keqiang. The leaders have already discussed their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal and the importance of jointly developing technology for autonomous vehicles. Source: Reuters
Number of the day The red devils rule A study ranked Bayern Munich, Germany's largest soccer club, as the fourth-most valuable club in Europe, worth €2.55 billion. KPMG put Britain's Manchester United in first place, at €3.25 billion.

Slashing costs

Deutsche Bank plans deep cuts as investor pressure mounts

The bank tempered reports it would fire 10,000 employees by saying at least 7,000 jobs would go. The annual meeting on Thursday will focus on the future of board chairman Paul Achleitner.

Bureaucratic meltdown

Bribery scandal shines new spotlight on Germany’s refugee policy

The head of the refugee authority, BAMF, is under investigation over alleged corruption and a cover-up involving more than 1,000 dubiously approved asylum applications. Opponents of Angela Merkel’s open-door policy are scoring easy political points.

Editors’ Pick

Ties that Bind

America and Germany are about so much more than Trump

If the American-German relationship can survive US President Donald Trump's term, it'll be stronger than ever, write three policy experts for Handelsblatt.

Dive In

Goodbye, America

German carmakers giddy as China lowers tariffs

While the US threatens to raise tariffs on steel, China is lowering them on cars. Germany, stuck in the middle, may have to rethink both relationships.

Think small

From VW to Siemens, German businesses join spin-off boom

Corporate divestment is en vogue and fueling a surge in mergers and acquisitions around the world. Notoriously cautious Germany has joined the frenzy with Daimler, Continental and others considering breakups.

Blame game

Deutsche Bank chief economist lashes out at former CEO Ackermann

Reckless expansion into investment banking by Deutsche's former bosses put Germany's biggest lender in its current mess, argues David Folkerts-Landau. Its high-flying Swiss ex-boss refuted the claim.

Rules, rules, rules

German politicians warn Italy’s new government

As Italy awaited the nomination of a new prime minister, German lawmakers warned the country’s incoming populist coalition of “playing with fire.” Its policies pose a risk to the euro zone.

Trans-Atlantic rift

Germany in the age of Trump

As the foreign ministers of Germany and the US meet in Washington for damage control, a foreign-policy expert ponders what Germany should do now that Donald Trump has cancelled the "partnership in leadership."

News Gallery

In case you missed it

German space missions, American Nazis, Italian pushovers and why Brits are becoming Deutsch.

Playing with fire

Germany’s main opposition party is talking just as Hitler did

The far-right AfD routinely uses words that were employed by the Nazis to trash critics and stir up hatred, a German linguist says. That’s causing concern among politicians as well as security officials.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Getting off Easy

Facebook’s Zuckerberg is home free after European Parliament meeting

Social network pioneer Mark Zuckerberg skated through his European Parliament hearing as the format left him little time to answer the questions he cherry-picked.

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.

defying the donald

German banks stand by Iran despite ‘strongest sanctions in history’

Six small credit unions in southern Germany are still processing payments to Iran, undaunted by the wrath of Trump.

Extracting concessions

New populist coalition puts Italy on collision course with EU

The new governing accord of Italy’s two anti-establishment parties poses the biggest challenge to the European Union since Britain voted to leave the bloc two years ago. Germans fear a financial blackmail of sorts is coming.

Hot Button Issues