News Bites

ThyssenKrupp has found a candidate for board chair who can restore the company’s credibility in Bodo Uebber, who is stepping down as CFO at Daimler. He has the stature to deal with major shareholders and guide the company, industry sources said.

UFO, a cabin crew union, won a case permitting it to publicly criticize the working conditions at Ryanair as dangerous to flight safety.

Tembo, an elephant from Berlin, is being moved to Dresden, where he will breed with elephants at the city’s zoo. (DPA)

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said additional US car tariffs may be unavoidable, suggesting that the truce reached between the EU and the Trump administration may not hold.

Juncker told attendees at a conference in Berlin that the EU is negotiating with officials from the White House at all levels to avoid an escalation in trade tensions. (Reuters)

Horst Seehofer confirmed today that he will step down as chairman of the CSU but would remain interior minister for the time being.

A country-wide study found that 73 of 1,085 German hospitals don’t meet the minimum standards in eleven assessment categories across three areas of care: maternity, gynecology and breast cancer operations.

UBS faces a lawsuit in France for aiding and abetting tax evasion and for money laundering.

The summer drought caused a water shortage in Berlin and the city is negotiating with neighboring states for access to their reservoirs.

Volkswagen’s boss said the carmaker is capable of making 50 million e-vehicles, thanks to its platform and battery procurement plans. (Automobilwoche)

Jürgen Hardt, the foreign policy expert for the CDU’s Bundestag caucus, called for greater collaboration on European security and spoke in favor of the French president’s calls for a European army. (RBB)

Allianz will present a new strategy later this month that will expand its portfolio with digital products that are less complicated than current offerings and more focused on customers’ needs.

Thomas Haldenweg, previously the deputy to Hans-Georg Maassen, will take on his post as spy chief. Mr. Maassen was fired as president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service last week.

Authorities in the Bavarian town of Schwandorf confirmed that people had been infected with rabbit fever, a non-fatal sickness similar to the flu.

Two German ministers, Katarina Barley and Franziska Giffey, called for a gender quota in the Bundestag, where only 31% of lawmakers are women.

Talanx announced almost all areas of its business improved, surprising investors who expected worse news for the third quarter. The German insurer’s operating profit rose 33% to €1.5 billion for the first nine months of the year.

SunExpress, a Lufthansa-Turkish Airlines joint venture, is growing rapidly and plans to expand its services by 15% next year.

The AfD received €130,000 from a Swiss pharma company, although party donations from non-EU countries are illegal if the donor is not German. Alice Weidel, a party leader, has since repaid the donation as required by law after saying she noticed the donation late. (NDR, WDR, SZ)

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on Berlin to support closer European integration for “a European empire.” Le Maire also said Europe needs a digital tax on major tech companies and should resist US sanctions on Iran.

SAP will pay $8 billion to buy Qualtrics, a US company that makes polling software and forecasts a 40% growth rate. It is SAP’s biggest deal to date.

Germany extended suffrage to women 100 years ago today.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Beijing to be transparent about the human rights conflict surrounding unconfirmed reports of the country’s mass detention of 1 million Uighur Muslims. Maas is spending two days in China.

German toymaker Kettler faces bankruptcy but received a stay of execution thanks to temporary financing from the deceased owner’s foundation.

Vandals sprayed red swastikas on the tombstones of Muslim graves in a cemetery in Northeim, a town in Lower Saxony.

Germany’s competition authorities approved the merger of two department store chains and Kaufhof and Karstadt are now finalizing the deal. Owners Hudson’s Bay and Signa expect to sign a contract later this month.

Infineon will invest €1.6 billion to build a chip plant in Austria, the most the chipmaker has invested in Europe in more than a decade.

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Pressure on Berlin

French finance minister: We need a European empire

European unity should be more than just a photo opportunity, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an exclusive interview. But while France is more than willing, Germany remains reluctant.

Brexit banking

Deutsche Bank still calling London home, for now

Deutsche Bank is moving fewer operations to Frankfurt than expected. Despite slashing hundreds of UK-based investment banking jobs, the lender says London will remain crucial to its global business after Brexit.

bavarian contrarian

Horst Seehofer to step down as CSU party chair

Media reports suggest Germany’s interior minister will resign as CSU party leader this week, and may step down as minister early next year.

Winds of change

Streamlining Europe’s truck fleets to meet CO2 targets

EU freight transport will become a lot greener as tractor-trailer makers bone up on aerodynamics. Now that Brussels has weighed in with new emissions limits, the Germans are getting with the program.

Editors’ Pick

Them next door

Germany’s odd lack of clarity on neighborhood noise pollution

One neighbor’s aural torture is another neighbor’s beautiful music. But how loud is too loud? The question causes around three-quarters of all neighborly conflicts and is a major source of stress for locals. But strangely, it is also one area Germany does not have clear rules on.

Dive In

UN pact

10 years on, Germany still lags in inclusive education

Germany has made little progress in moving special-needs children from special to regular schools. In fact, the German labor market has a better track record with handicapped adults.

SME Power


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.

Tangled web

Israeli police refer bribery charges in ThyssenKrupp submarine deal to prosecutors

Police allege six suspects are guilty of money laundering and bribery, after a two-year investigation. The charges are based in part on the testimony of a company middleman.

German Go-Getter

Siemens’ strategic success outshines troubled GE

While Siemens is enjoying strategic success, its American rival GE is mired in problems. But the gas turbine business remains an expensive headache for both companies.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why even Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has a politics problem

As party politics seeps into decisions about who sits on the top courts of the US and Poland, Germany defends its reputation for judicial independence. But even here, the lines are more blurred that it might seem.

promises, promises

German business draws back from China as skepticism grows

After a decade of disappointments and broken promises, German executives are wary of Chinese ambitions.


Merkel ally Manfred Weber leads center-right in EU vote to replace Juncker

The CSU official faces a rocky road in his controversial path to the top EU job, as he has no government experience and speaks only two languages.

Word War I

Neo-Nationalism 100 years after Compiègne

As Emmanuel Macron prepares to host Angela Merkel and other leaders to commemorate the end of World War I, our editor-in-chief ponders its lessons, and how they are being heeded by some, scorned by others.

Gearing Up

Germany’s chemical firms braced for a toxic 2019

The good times are over in the country's heavyweight chemical sector, due to a dangerous cocktail of weakening demand in key markets and rising raw materials prices.

Gold bricks

German real estate

Long tipped as a rising star in the European market, Germany has finally come into its own. Our series on residential property highlights some favorite cities for expats and investors alike.

Starting afresh

Money-laundering unit to scrutinize real-estate market

The new boss of Germany’s embattled anti-money laundering office wants to restore confidence in the organization after a chaotic start and chase dirty cash in the property market.


Kramp-Karrenbauer weighed down by Merkel baggage in CDU succession race

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s path to the CDU leadership is much stonier as the party turns away from its longtime leader.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Five Wise Men

Economists cut German growth forecast, urge tax relief for companies

The government's economic council warns expansion is slowing after a prolonged upswing amid trade tensions and other problems.

Rohwedder murder, stasi or RAF?


Stasi may have carried out assassination once blamed on RAF

The widow of a high-ranking German official says her husband's murder resulted from his trying to trace money stolen from East Germany's ruling party.

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