Picture of the Day
As Wolfgang Schäuble departed after eight years as Germany’s finance minister, some 400 of his staff donned black and formed a human zero at the finance ministry in Berlin. The unusual demonstration celebrated Germany’s balanced federal budget, Mr. Schäuble’s signature achievement and which is known in Germany as the Schwarze Null, or “black zero.” Source:
Person of the Day
Father of the House
Germany’s newly elected parliament convened on Tuesday amid anticipation that the far-right AfD party would disrupt the event. Hermann Otto Solms, a 76-year old lawmaker from the pro-business Free Democratic Party, was made father of the house, a role which carries the privilege of giving the opening speech of the session. The aristocrat, whose full name is Hermann Otto Prinz zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, warned fellow lawmakers against “excluding or even stigmatizing” people. Source:
Chart of the Day
It’s a Man’s World
The new Bundestag is the biggest lower house of parliament for a democratic country with 709 lawmakers, up from 631 in the previous assembly. But the number of women dropped from 230 to just 218 after last month’s federal election. While 58 percent of all Green Party lawmakers are women, the far-right AfD, quite predictably, is a bastion of maleness, with just 11 percent of representatives female.
Rant of the Day
Grounded in the Capital
With a few days to go until Air Berlin ends operations, a former CEO of the insolvent airline lamented that the bankruptcy will affect the German capital as a transport hub. “Wherever we fly to, we Berliners have to change at Frankfurt or Munich,” Hartmut Mehdorn told Der Tagesspiegel, a sister publication of Handelsblatt.