News Bites

The finance and economics ministers of Germany and Turkey will meet to prepare a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan to Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 28.

A court ordered that Sami A., suspected of having served as one of Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguards, be brought back to Germany after he was unlawfully extradited to Tunisia last month.

An Austrian civil servant rejected an Afghan’s asylum request because he felt the man’s claim of homosexuality was not credible. “Neither your walk, your behavior nor your clothing have given the faintest indication that you could actually be a homosexual.” (Falter)

The Alternative for Germany removed Lars Steinke from his post as leader of the party’s youth arm in Lower Saxony. The politician had called a conspirator of a failed Hitler assassination in 1944 a traitor.

Farmers will discover next Wednesday whether or not Berlin will provide emergency aid after a three-month drought decimated crops in some regions.

Germany’s transportation minister rejected a claim that some German bridges were as bad as those abroad. Genoa’s collapsed bridge triggered criticism that the country invests too little in infrastructure. (n-tv)

Hardware refits of diesel cars are inevitable after a test at near-freezing temperatures showed that vehicles still emit too much toxic gases, German environmental group Umwelthilfe said.

Exyte, a builder of semiconductor factories, laboratories and data centers, plans to list on the stock market and could raise up to €1 billion, Reuters has learned. It was formerly known as M+W Group.

Bosch, the world’s largest car-parts maker, bought a stake in DeepMap, a Palo Alto-based digital map maker. The Series B financing, which included other backers, brought in more than $50 million. (Gründerszene)

Germany expects to soon sign refugee agreements with Greece and Italy. The agreements would allow Berlin to send asylum seekers back to the Mediterranean countries if they have already registered there.

Afghan and Syrian asylum seekers helped raise the number of young people in vocational training last year. However, a third of all apprenticeships still went unfilled.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a new bill that will allow people to register under a third gender which is neither male nor female. A Supreme Court ruling last year forced Berlin to change its identification laws.

The Swiss Central Bank said its expansive monetary policy was still appropriate in light of Turkey’s currency crisis and the recent appreciation of the franc versus the euro. The bank favors a weaker franc to support Swiss exports.

The quality of German school education dropped for the first time in 15 years as pupils performed worse in language and mathematics, and the percentage of drop-outs rose to 14.2%. (INSM study)

German municipalities need to spend €159 billion to bring their roads, bridges, schools, kindergartens and sanitation systems up-to-date and meet higher demand for transportation, education and child care. (KfW study)

The state of Saxony will set up two locations that can house between 500 and 750 refugees each to quickly process their asylum applications. It is part of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s stricter asylum policies.

Germany will accept up to 50 refugees from the rescue ship Aquarius, which has been looking for a port since Friday after picking up 141 people off the coast of Libya. The boat can dock at Malta, a Mediterranean island.

The state of Bavaria deported 46 Afghan refugees to their home country after authorities had rejected their asylum applications. A total of 194 Afghans have so far been expelled this year. (Welt)

Madame Tussauds in Berlin staged a live Donald Trump impersonator in its wax figure museum. The actor hit a picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel on a punchball and danced to the lyrics, “I’m sexy and I know it.”

The number of refugees traveling on top of cargo trains from Italy to Germany has risen sharply from a handful last year to 254 in the first six months of this year, police in the state of Baden-Württemberg said. (n-tv)

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said his company’s market value is as much as €20 billion too low compared to rivals. He wants to close this gap. (Passauer Neue Presse)

Ado Properties, which owns 22,000 homes in Berlin, reported a 26% rise in rental income in the first half year thanks to new rentals and rent increases. Its shares rose 1.4%

The number of jobs in Germany’s manufacturing businesses climbed to a new all-time high of 5.6 million at the end of June. Producers of data processing and electronic equipment added the most positions.

Shares of car-parts maker Leoni fell as much as 5.5% after second-quarter earnings disappointed investors and analysts.

Northern Europe’s summer heat exposed Germany’s dependency on solar and wind power: Due to a lack of wind, Germany’s 38,000 wind turbines delivered only a fraction of the electricity they could produce. High temperatures also reduced the performance of solar panels.

European cities, from Berlin to Barcelona, are imposing increasingly draconian restriction on Airbnb rentals, accusing the US home-sharing platform of exacerbating housing shortages and encouraging tax evasion.

Workers in two of 16 German states, Bavaria and Saarland, have a day off because of the Assumption of Mary holiday, which commemorates the ascension of Jesus’ mother into heaven.

The Bundesbank approved the government’s nomination of Sabine Mauderer for the vacant position on the central bank’s executive board. The 48-year-old director of development bank KfW will be the second woman on the Bundesbank board. (Reuters)

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Rain or shine

Germany’s renewable energy production defies fickle weather

The recent unpredictable weather is a reminder of renewable energy's variability, prompting coal proponents to argue Germany shouldn't abandon conventional fuels. But heat waves don't play favorites.

Cheap digs

European cities move to restrict Airbnb rentals

Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam are among cities setting limits to availability and requiring registration and reporting from renters.

No Schadenfreude

The West shouldn’t revel in Erdogan’s misfortunes

Turkey is teetering on the brink, almost as if karma finally caught up to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Still, it is not the right for Europe to gloat about the power-hungry leader’s troubles, writes Handelsblatt’s Jens Münchrath.

Lira Losses

German companies uneasy with Turkey’s seesawing lira

As currency fluctuations shake Turkey, German companies with operations in the country are wondering what, if anything, they could do.

Editors’ Pick

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germans take their vacations so seriously

It's hard to get much done in Germany during August because Germans consider holidays a human right. An investigation into the undeniable earnestness of the German vacation.

Dive In

Daily Briefing

Bayer: has glyphosate, needs Aspirin

Bayer’s glyphosate crash; VW’s Bentley problem; the worsening Turkish crisis; and Merkel’s next meeting with Putin: Our daily briefing for August 14.

Slow lane

VW’s Bentley gets left behind as a luxury car cash cow

The classic British brand is losing money, prompting its parent, Volkswagen to tie it more closely to the moneymaking Porsche.

Poisonous effects

Bayer stock craters after US cancer verdict against Roundup

Alarmed investors wipe €10 billion off Bayer’s market value after a US jury awarded $289 million to a plaintiff who claimed Monsanto’s glyphosate product caused his cancer.

Deutsche Bank

Insiders buying shares in beleaguered German companies

A Deutsche Bank supervisory board member is the first insider to buy shares in the company in seven years — and he bought €1 million worth.

Not so cheap

German firms face staffing woes as Chinese labor costs skyrocket

Rapidly rising wages are an increasingly significant cost factor for German firms in China as competition for qualified staff heats up.

A sea of polluters

Shipping industry struggles to reach 2020 emissions targets

Maritime traffic is one of the worst offenders for air and water pollution, as well as CO2 emissions. The industry faces the challenge of meeting strict new regulations in less than two years' time.

New bestie

Spain’s Sánchez gives Merkel badly-needed backing on migration

With immigration critics challenging her authority in Germany and across the EU, Chancellor Angela Merkel found an ally during an informal meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Spinning outwards

Frankfurt tests the limits of trendy real estate

To relieve a housing crunch, Germany's banking capital attempts to recast its outskirts as the place to be. Despite fears, though, Brexit has yet to stoke extra demand.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Self-made man

The wolf of Germany’s insurance brokerage business is down but not out

Mehmet Göker, the son of Turkish immigrants, became a millionaire entrepreneur in his 20s before it all went wrong. From the safety of his exile on the Turkish Riviera, the disgraced sales guru gives get-rich seminars while German courts want him tried for fraud.

Thirty Years' War

Lessons of the Westphalian Peace for the Middle East

Four centuries after catastrophe in central Europe, German scholars and policymakers revisit the Thirty Years' War to find lessons for today’s Syria.

Diplomatic License

Our honorary diplomat in Düsseldorf-Mörsenbroich

Honorary diplomatic titles sound like something out of a Ruritanian comedy. But demand remains strong, as Germany’s 500 honorary consuls show.

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