News Bites

EU and British negotiators say they have reached agreement on modalities for Brexit and handed it over to the British cabinet, which will meet Wednesday to discuss it. Even this preliminary agreement has a long road ahead of it, and then detailed talks on the future relationship will take place after the official Brexit in March.

Real estate tycoon Rene Benko bought two Austrian daily newspapers, the Kronen Zeitung and the Kurier.

Beermakers said prices would increase beyond 2% because of the poor wheat and hops harvest after this summer’s lengthy drought.

German vehicle supplier Grammer posted a loss of €10 million for the third quarter. This was due to European carmakers’ weaker demands and costs associated with being taken over by Ningbo Jifeng.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told the European Parliament she would back a European army in a speech spanning EU reform and her vision for Europe.

A 94-year-old former SS guard, who is currently on trial, rejected charges he was knowingly part of a “systematic killing machine” at the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig.

Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckener promised cash for owners of forests which suffered in the long drought during the summer.

The US Department of Commerce passed recommendations to the White House which could strengthen Trump’s hand in talks with the EU over auto tariffs. (Reuters)

Five German public banks are mulling a mega-merger, an idea greeted by Sabine Lautenschläger, an ECB board member.

Christian Sewing, the boss of Deutsche Bank, wants to instill a “fighter mentality” among his employees. He said the bank’s share price will improve in time.

In Germany, 6.93 million consumers are in debt, up 19,000 from last year and the fifth consecutive increase.

Berlin will invest €3 billion into artificial intelligence through 2025.

A poll found 43% of people in Germany approve of Horst Seehofer’s resignation as chairman of the Christian Social Union. (YouGov)

Germany’s federal audit office accused Berlin of wasting €10 billion by failing to carry out sufficient checks and by not demanding interest back from tax evaders.

German states drafted a list of revisions to the NetzDG law, which requires social media companies to remove hate speech from their sites.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz expects Italy to move towards resolving the dispute over its 2019 budget with Brussels, he said on Monday.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen visited 850 German troops in Gao, northern Mali, stationed there as part of a UN mission in a region controlled by militants associated with al-Qaeda. (DPA)

Joachim Wuermeling, a Bundesbank board member, said German banks are more resilient than before the global financial crisis, and that the lenders’ poor showing in EU stress tests is nothing to be worried about.

Carmaker VW would be prepared to join a consortium making e-car batteries with other German stakeholders, an insider said. The idea will be discussed Friday at a supervisory board meeting. (Reuters)

Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to speak to the European Parliament, where she will likely discuss EU reform and her vision for Europe.

Inflation in Germany rose to its highest point since 2008, with prices up 2.5% in October.

Seven camels broke free from a circus on Monday night and were found trotting around a supermarket near the German city of Celle. (DW)

China and Germany need to work hand in hand in the UN Security Council to fight climate change and regulate arms control, according to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Authorities in Frankfurt issued warnings and sounded sirens after a truck tipped over carrying hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive compound. The cause of the accident is unclear.

Health Minister Jens Spahn wants to allow doctors to diagnose patients online by video and send digital prescriptions by 2020.

E.ON is preparing to take over RWE’s Innogy but will drop the brand, the power company decided. Innogy was spun off in a deal involving an exchange of businesses.

German media noted with concern that Tesla is worth more than BMW on the stock market. The e-car maker’s value increased 38% last month and is now fast approaching that of Daimler.

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.

Two worlds meet

Germany’s family-run companies turn venture capitalists, fund startups

The Mittelstand is investing in German startups in the hopes of learning from its younger, more nimble peers. Meanwhile, the startups are hoping to tap the Mittelstand's deep pockets.

M&A

SAP buying Qualtrics to face off against Salesforce

German software maker SAP surprised investors with the high-priced, $8 billion acquisition to help clients improve their relationships with their own customers.

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.

Editors’ Pick

Vielfalt

When German companies talk about ‘diversity,’ they only mean women

Adding women to executive boards does not a diversity-management strategy make.

Dive In

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Spitzenkandidat

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.

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.

Mini-Merkel

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.

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