Person of the day
The successor to Merkel's successor
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's sudden rise as Angela Merkel's heir apparent meant Saarland no longer had a prime minister. On Thursday, lawmakers in the capital Saarbrücken overwhelmingly elected Tobias Hans, 40, as leader of the small rust-belt state that borders Luxembourg and France. The new state premier with the refreshingly short name has been floor leader of the center-right CDU in state parliament. Source:
Graph of the day
Honk if you're Romanian
Some 22 of the European Union's 28 member countries have a minimum wage, and Eastern European workers got huge pay raises this year, thanks to booming economies from Poland to Hungary to Romania. But that doesn't mean they closed the gap with their Western counterparts – the hourly minimum wage in Romania is a mere €2.50 ($3.05), despite jumping by 52 percent this year. In Germany, it's €8.84, and as much as €11.55 in Luxembourg.
Photo of the day
Smoke signals in Berlin
No, the Bundestag didn't elect a new pope this week. Nor did the Reichstag building burn like it's 1933. As steam from a nearby power station billowed skyward, from a certain angle it seemed to rise from the building's dome by star architect Norman Foster. The coincidence wasn't lost on observers who saw a sign that, at long last, Germany might have a new government soon. We'll see on Sunday, after the results of the SPD vote on a coalition with the CDU are known. Source:
Quote of the day
A dire warning
Germany is at risk of handing over its automaking expertise to China, a leading car designer believes. Mr. Hildebrand reckons Beijing's subsidized e-car offensive is a threat to Germany's car industry, compounded by Berlin's lack of industrial policy. This week's diesel ban ruling further "castrated" the industry, he fumed. Mr. Hildebrand has a nose for these things, as he's led the design department at Qoros, a Chinese-Israeli car joint venture, since 2011.