News Bites

Hans-Christoph Hirt, head of shareholder adviser Hermes EOS, joined other proxy firms questioning the future of Deutsche Bank chairman Paul Achleitner. He urged the board to start looking at a succession plan.

Frankfurt’s general public prosecutor has filed charges against lawyer Hanno Berger and five former traders with HypoVereinsbank for tax evasion linked to so-called “cum-ex” dividend-stripping deals. It is Germany’s first cum-ex criminal case.

The German economy is still booming but has lost some momentum, according to the Bundesbank. Growth halved to 0.3 percent in the first quarter, its lowest reading in six quarters.

More than 1,000 radical Islamists in Germany have left the country to support a terror organization in Syria or Iraq, and more than half of these Jihadists have a German passport, according to German security officials. (Funke Mediengruppe)

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has promised action after complaints that Germany’s migration office approved more than 1,200 asylum applications without properly reviewing the cases. The agency is accused of massive irregularities in its handling of asylum cases.

Thanks to the strong economy, federal and state tax revenues in Germany continued to grow in April, up 3.9% over the same month last year to €50.9 billion euros, the finance ministry said.

Thinking about going to trendy Berlin and starting a family? Think again — more than 3,000 kids are officially waiting for an opening in a kindergarten and their numbers are growing. (Berliner Morgenpost)

German food and agricultural minister Julia Klöckner voiced skepticism of introducing minimum alcohol pricing to raise the cost of cheap, strong drinks favored by young people. Scotland launched such a pricing scheme this month. (Funke Mediengruppe)

The American and German biotech companies Celgene and Evotec have inked a drug discovery and development partnership to identify new cancer therapies.

Deutsche Bank CFO James von Moltke said the bank expects lower restructuring costs in 2019 after spending millions on integrating its Postbank subsidiary in 2017 and reorganizing its investment banking unit last year. (Börsen-Zeitung)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will meet Tuesday evening with EU parliamentarians in Brussels. He will face questions on how Cambridge Analytica was able to farm data from as many as 2.7 million European Facebook users.

Schleswig-Holstein’s state prosecutor is preparing to extradite Carles Puigdemont to Spain, although the state’s top court has ruled the ousted Catalan president cannot be rearrested after he was freed on bail last month.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella is expected later on Tuesday to nominate little-known law professor Giuseppe Conte of the anti-establishment Five Star movement as the country’s new prime minister.

German carmakers, especially BMW, will benefit from the Chinese government’s decision to cut tariffs on car imports from between 20-25% to 15% for certain models and on auto parts to 6%. The new tariffs go into effect July 1.

It’s a German tradition at every school break — frugal parents taking their kids a day or two early to get a cheaper flight. Police nabbed and fined 21 families at Bavarian airports on Sunday for disregarding the country’s strict schooling laws.

Of the 175 Chinese investments of more than 10% in German high-tech companies between 2014 and 2017, two-thirds were in the 10 key sectors identified by Beijing as areas to dominate by 2025, a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation found.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has signaled interest in succeeding Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank, in an interview with the Funke media group. It was his strongest hint so far in pursuing the job.

Russia picked up the €25,000 tab for a chartered flight to Moscow last year for Frauke Petry and her husband, Marcus Pretzell, former leading members of the Alternative for Germany, a far-right party also called AfD. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

The British government is considering bringing criminal charges against carmakers accused of using emission-cheating software, in a move to prevent another Dieselgate.

The European Parliament will stream its questioning of Mark Zuckerberg about the Facebook data scandal.

David Volkerts-Landau, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, criticized decisions made by Josef Ackermann, a former boss, saying these continue to hamper the bank.

BASF’s operations in Ludwigsburg stopped on Monday due to an electrical fault.

Ankara criticized Germany’s ban on campaigns for foreign elections ahead of Turkey’s vote on June 24.

Brussels called on Berlin to help set up an EU-wide tax on plastics that cannot be recycled.

Venezuela declared Nicolás Maduro the winner of its presidential election. The US, EU and several countries in Latin America refused to recognize the results.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 meeting of foreign ministers, Heiko Maas underlined his commitment to the Iran nuclear deal. He said it makes Europe safer. (ARD)

Aid organizations criticized Germany’s plans to set up centers to process refugees more quickly and deport unsuccessful asylum seekers.

At a WHO meeting, the health minister, Jens Spahn, promised €5 million to combat Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Families charged for pulling children out of school over Pentecost long weekend

School-aged children are legally obliged to attend school in Germany. And parents who try to take their children out of school without permission, regardless of the reason, face prosecution.

News Gallery

In case you missed it

Royals, graffiti and grilling the Zuck. Oh and Italy. Uh-oh!

Power Grab

China’s renewed bid for power grid network 50Hertz worries Berlin

Chinese electricity giant SGCC is trying again to buy a 20 percent stake in 50Hertz, one of Germany’s four grid operators. Berlin is worried and so are rivals.

Rising Star

Germany’s Vestner takes elevators to the next level

A father-son duo at the Mittelstand company is experimenting with high-tech elevators that one day even robots could use.

Editors’ Pick

Church and state

Expats beware: Germany uses dodgy tactics to snatch church tax

Germany has a church tax — unimaginable in the US or France. Anyone who was ever baptized or christened and has not officially left the church is liable.

Dive In

P&L Check

Dispute puts Fresenius’ health at risk

A bitter US legal battle over a botched takeover has cast a shadow over German healthcare firm Fresenius and its separately listed cash cow, Fresenius Medical Care. That shouldn't stop it from seeking more acquisitions.

Brexit with Benefits

How German companies can capitalize on Brexit

Surveys predict doom and gloom for companies with British business ties, but in reality many take a wait-and-see attitude. Some are even increasing UK production.

Zwilling knives, german mittelstand

Cutting Edge

How knifemaker Zwilling stays sharp

Germany's Zwilling has been making knives for 287 years, but sales continue to rise with their expansion into cookware and embrace of social media.

African Treasures

German museums pushed to review colonial-era artifacts ‘blind spot’

Germany's new 130-page code of conduct should help museums determine whether colonial-era artifacts were taken unlawfully. But then what?

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

trying talk

Merkel plays the long game with Putin in Sochi

At a high-stakes meeting, the German and Russian leaders pledged cooperation, but danced around their differing positions on Syria and Ukraine.

Butt out

How Germany is smoking other countries in e-cigarette regulation

Regulations-heavy Germany has taken a surprisingly lax stance on e-cigarettes and vaping laws. It's the right approach, writes a policy analyst.

Weekly Review

The (still)birth of a European foreign policy

Iran, Gaza, Jerusalem: If ever the time was right for EU countries to unite in their foreign policy as in their trade policy, it is now, says our editor-in-chief. Alas, that still doesn’t make it likely.

All at sea

How did shipping firm P&R lose 1 million containers?

Investors could lose more than $4 billion after the bankruptcy of shipping container leasing firm P&R. To make matters worse, prosecutors are now investigating how the company “mislaid” a million of its storage units.


Profit and Loss Check

Once a year, we take a critical look at the financial health of selected German blue-chip companies around the time of their annual shareholders' meetings.

Investment fears

Chinese take away another German firm, eventually

Berlin is increasingly worried about Chinese firms buying up German companies and know-how. But its extra scrutiny of deals is stifling investment, says the boss of plane-part supplier Cotesa, the latest Chinese acquisition.

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