Picture of the Day
The 184th Oktoberfest kicked off with traditional beer guzzling in Munich on Saturday. The world's largest beer fest runs for 18 days and organizers hope for seven million visitors, which would be a vast improvement over 2016's record low numbers. Security measures such as heightened video surveillance and a PA system have also debuted.
Graph of the Day
As France presses for widespread labor reform (and citizens push back with protests), there might be helpful examples in Germany where strong employment laws and low unemployment numbers seem to connect. Some of the big differences between the systems is that in Germany, contracts can be negotiated directly by companies and not just forcibly adopted by sectoral agreements. Employers can also opt out of collective bargaining, making smaller firms more competitive in wage agreements.
Person of the Day
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble celebrates his 75th birthday on Monday. Colleagues from Chancellor Angela Merkel to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attended a morning gala reception in his honor (where Mr. Schäuble is pictured). The career politician first entered parliament in 1972. Over the years he's become known for his hard-boiled character, from his "no mercy" stance on Greek debt to surviving an assassination attempt that left him paralyzed in 1990.
Number of the Day
Almost two years after the refugee crisis hit its climax, German authorities are further backlogged than they've ever been when it comes to rejected asylum appeal cases going before courts. According to a Monday report from daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, more than 283,000 cases were pending in mid-July 2017, twice as many as at the end of 2016. In the first five months of 2017 alone, 146,000 new complaints were filed.