News Bites

The German economy is expected to show “solid” growth this quarter, although it may drop below the rate of around 0.5% in the first half because manufacturing output is forecast to remain constant, the Bundesbank said.

German private wealth fell for the first time in six years in real terms, declining 0.8% in the first quarter this year. The lower value of stocks and a higher inflation rate hit consumers’ assets.

The Center for European Politics, a German think tank, said Greece’s creditworthiness continued to decline, because it was investing too little and consumed more than it earned.

The EU’s bailout program for Greece has ended, but the bloc may have to decide whether a debt haircut is needed by 2032, when loan repayments are set to start.

Turkey should not receive aid from Germany or Europe but from the International Monetary Fund, if at all, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger said.

Germany is expected to have the world’s largest trade surplus for the third consecutive year, at $299 billion, the ifo Institute said. The US is forecast to have the biggest trade deficit, at $420 billion. (Reuters)

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, said Germany should stabilize the payout ratio of government-backed pensions until 2040, drawing criticism from Christian Democrats.

Turkish authorities allowed jailed German journalist and translator Mesale Tolu to leave the country, but a court cases against her will continue in October. She is accused of supporting a terror group amid Ankara’s crackdown on dissent.

Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, wants progress in the Minsk peace process. He said sanctions on Russia would only be eased if Moscow implements the agreement. (WamS)

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz called the Greece bailout “a success” but several economists were skeptical. Greece will no longer depend on funding from the EU after August 20, after receiving €200 billion in aid since 2010.

The renovation of the Bundesbank’s main campus may need more time as the central bank wants to plan the project anew, and fired its project manager.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia’s Vladimir Putin made no new agreements at their meeting near Berlin on Saturday, but pledged continued cooperation on the Nord Stream 2 energy project and on humanitarian aid for Syria.

The European Central Bank will present its new €100 and €200 notes on September 17. The new money is harder to forge.

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Berlin and Athens agreed that Greece will take back refugees who have already registered in the Mediterranean country, as Germany toughens its asylum policy.

Berlin will miss its target to renovate public buildings to make them more heat-efficient. The aim was to cut usage by 20% by 2020. (Rheinische Post)

Ms. Merkel said there wouldn’t be a repeat of the 2015 influx of refugees into Germany. In Saxony, where people oppose her policy, the chancellor emphasized that rejected asylum seekers would be deported faster.

Several Volkswagen workers might be fired immediately due to their association with the Dieselgate scandal and are preparing to take legal action. (Bild am Sonntag)

The last straw

Halm and Wisefood gear up for the fight against plastic straws

Two German startups have created alternatives to single-use plastic straws. So far, there are two options: edible or glass.

Delisting Capitalism

The strange case of the shrinking stock markets

Tesla epitomizes a worrisome trend in modern capitalism: The fact that ownership is becoming less public and more private.

chinese investment in germany

Clearance sale?

Europe must be less defensive about Chinese investment

The EU should focus instead on improving its internal market to help companies compete with China, a technology management expert writes.

immigration law, Horst Seehofer's vision for German immigration

Willkommen?

Seehofer makes a German immigration plan on his terms

Germany may finally have an immigration law. As the shortage of skilled labor grows, Berlin would like to cut red tape for jobseekers.

Editors’ Pick

Atomic expertise

While Berlin phases out nuclear, German companies are maintaining the technology

Berlin is shuttering all the country's nuclear power plants but Germany's technology is still a popular export, destined to fuel power plants far afield.

Dive In

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Difficult births

Same-sex German couples forced abroad for fertility treatments

Assisted reproduction is increasingly a reality in Germany, but the country’s laws have not kept up. One effect is to force many same-sex couples to go overseas to seek fertility treatment.

machine learning

German insurers follow global trend to AI

Algorithms and supercomputers are revolutionizing the insurance industry. Germany has no intention of being left behind.

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.

€200,000 minimum

Fintech promises to give small investors access to private equity

Berlin's Moonfare uses an internet interface to bundles client money for investing in buyout funds that promise impressive returns.

Bin Laden ‘bodyguard’

Court orders deported terror suspect Sami A. be returned to Germany

The court’s decision to bring back the alleged Al Qaeda sympathizer from Tunisia pits politicians against judges in a case that stretches “the limits of the rule of law.”

Ketchupgate

VW employees reject new currywurst ketchup

The world's biggest carmaker had to get a new ketchup supplier for the trademark dish in its plant cafeterias. Workers are not impressed.

Research or perish

Auto industry leads German R&D spending in high-tech era

But US tech giants continue to top the global rankings as they leverage investment into strong growth and higher stock prices.

Wired for trouble

Germany seeks to avert renewables overload by expanding the power grid

Economics Minister Peter Altmaier is pushing for rapid expansion of Germany’s power grid to cope with the switch to renewable energy. Don’t hold your breath.

The freight game

How China put Duisburg back on the trade map

Back from the dead, the former Ruhr steel hub is fast becoming the main European stop for Chinese goods arriving on the new Silk Road, challenging Hamburg's dominance as Germany's premier port.

David vs Goliath

Little-known fintech Wirecard overtakes Deutsche Bank

Wirecard, a rising fintech star, is now worth more than staid old Deutsche Bank. Next, the startup may displace Commerzbank in the DAX index.

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.

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