News Bites

Manfred Weber, campaigning for the presidency of the European Commission, said he may try to become both head of Bavaria’s CSU party as well as top the EU Commission. Current statues don’t permit dual roles.

He also said he is in favor of a pan-European military controlled by the European parliament. However, he said diplomacy must always take precedent over brawn.

A head-on collision between two school buses in southern Germany injured 40, including both schoolchildren and adults, some severely.

The environmental Greens, center-left SPD and business-friendly FDP met Thursday to discuss a possible coalition government in Hesse. The CDU and Greens are also in talks to continue a coalition there.

Flight attendants of Eurowings, Lufthansa’s discount carrier, are preparing a strike after months of fruitless wage talks, union Verdi said. Eurowings said it was surprised and that talks had been constructive.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer scheduled yet another press conference about his professional future for Friday. A party official said it’s unclear whether Seehofer will discuss his job as leader of Bavaria’s CSU party or his ministerial post. (DPA)

A government forecast of 1.8% economic growth this year is now unrealistic, leading economists said on Thursday, after the German economy shrank 0.2% in the third quarter. (Reuters)

Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the current Brexit agreement amid protest in the UK. “You have to see the alternatives and then ask: Is what we have a foundation? I hope that this can be such a foundation,” she said.

Deutsche Bahn hopes to hire 24,000 new employees by the end of the year, 10,000 more than its annual average, to counter quality problems that are irking customers. Engineers, conductors and on-board service personnel are especially needed.

A regional court may ban diesel vehicles on part of the A40 Autobahn through Essen to cut pollution levels to within legal limits. It would be the first-ever diesel ban on a German highway.

Amid a controversy about an illegal donation from Switzerland, the populist AfD party said it had identified and returned another suspicious €150,000 donation in February from a Belgian foundation.

Deutsche Börse, operator of Frankfurt’s exchange, hired 720 new employees through October as new CEO Theodor Weimer pushes for growth. The bourse also firing 350 employees in less-promising positions.

Natural resources company K+S cut its full-year profit forecast after an ongoing drought hamstrung production. Operating earnings should reach as much as €630 million this year, compared to €577 million in 2017 and an earlier forecast of €740 million.

Despite tougher emissions regulations, Europeans registered 1.6% more cars through October over a year earlier. Still, VW saw registrations fall 21.5% in October while Daimler added 7.5% and BMW 14.5%, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

The 54,000 creditors of bankrupt container company P&R may get some of their money back after a Swiss unit worth hundreds of millions of euros was transferred to the troubled German division, administrator Michael Jaffé said.

Carmaker Opel, a unit of France’s PSA, signed a contract on Thursday to move as many as 2,000 engineers to services company Segula after former parent General Motors canceled development contracts with Opel.

Fashion house Hugo Boss said during an investors meeting that it hopes to boost sales as much as 7% annually through 2022 by increasing online sales — currently 5% of turnover — as well as its Asian business. Sales last year rose just 3%.

Swiss competition regulators are investigating Credit Suisse, UBS and other lenders for colluding to keep cellular phone payment apps from Apple and Samsung off the market to the benefit their TWINT mobile payment service.

Michael Vassiliadis, head of the IG BCE mining union, rejected calls to shutter all coal-fired power plants before 2040 because it would lead to massive layoffs. He is part of a commission planning Germany’s exit from coal.

The number of illegal immigrants entering Europe is likely to fall by a third this year to 118,900 cases, EU border guard agency Frontex said. The last time the numbers were so low was in 2013. (DPA)

VW expects sales in China, its biggest market, to slow as consumers fret over a slowing economy and a trade war with the US. After 5% sales growth in China through September, it now expects just 2%.

German startups will collect a record €4.3 billion in investments this year, up from €2.9 billion in 2017, according to Dealroom. The country is now home to 28 unicorns — startups worth over $1 billion — second only to the UK.

Henkel, maker of Persil detergent and Loctite adhesives, expects to meet its full-year sales target of up to 4% growth as brisk demand for industrial products offset weakness in its US business.

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Daily briefing

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Be our guest

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GDP down

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Editors’ Pick

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Dive In

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Merger Vindicated?

Monsanto boosts Bayer profit even as legal risk mounts

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Budget Discipline

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Intellectual property

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Overstaying His Welcome

Horst Seehofer gives up party post, wants to stay in cabinet

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Two worlds meet

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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.

SME Power

Mittelstand

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Pressure on Berlin

French finance minister: We need a European empire

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Brexit banking

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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.

Gold bricks

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Streamlining Europe’s truck fleets to meet CO2 targets

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