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Handelsblatt Explains

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

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Christian Democrats Neither Have Nor Need An Ideology

Few Germans could say what exactly Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union stands for. On September 24, they will give the CDU another victory all the same.

Handelsblatt explains

Why the Social Democrats Have a Proud Past and Uncertain Future

One of the world’s oldest democratic parties, and once Germany’s only political force to resist Hitler, the SPD is nonetheless struggling to stay relevant.

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Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germany Has 34 Political Parties

The kaleidoscope of Germany’s political scene – with dozens of factions in the running alongside the major parties – is democracy in action, even when it’s kooky.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Alternative for Germany is No Alternative

For the first time since 1960, a far-right party will enter the German parliament. But German democracy is mature enough to absorb it.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Bavaria’s CSU Is Angela Merkel’s Closest Ally – and Most Dangerous Foe

The Christian Social Union is a party that rules Bavaria and exists only there; but because of an alliance with the chancellor's Christian Democrats it also wields much power in national politics, and could determine the next coalition.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Left Party is Stuck Between Senescence and the Hard Right

The Left was once the country’s go-to opposition and refuge for disenchanted East Germans. But recently a right-wing populist party has seized that role – and The Left's base.

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How Germany Combats Far-Right Extremism

In Germany, history and the law forbid neo-Nazism. If Angela Merkel had behaved like Donald Trump did in the wake of the Charlottesville riots, she could have kissed her re-election campaign goodbye.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germans Take their Vacations so Seriously

It's hard to get much done in Germany during August because Germans consider holidays a human right. An investigation into the undeniable earnestness of the German vacation.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Free Democrats Could Be Kingmakers Again

Christian Lindner, leader of Germany’s FDP, is hell-bent on bringing the pro-business liberal party out of Hades and back to Berlin.

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Why Germans Are So Ambivalent About Russia

Germans and Russians share a long history of attraction and repulsion, fear and embrace, conflict and harmony. That endlessly complicates their relations today.

Handelsblatt explains

Why Germany’s Greens Need to Turn a New Leaf

Liberal on ecological and social issues but out of step with voters' security fears, the sunflower party has arrived in the political middle and is wondering where to go from there.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germans Struggle With Patriotism

Germans are proud of much about their modern country, and like to wave its flag during soccer matches. And yet they still have mixed and complex feelings about patriotism, for the past casts a long shadow.

Handelsblatt Explains

How VW Rose so High and Fell so Low

Conceived by Hitler in the 1930s, Volkswagen became the symbol of Made in Germany and the world’s largest car maker. Then it crashed into Dieselgate.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germany Waited so Long to Legalize Gay Marriage

Despite being touted as progressive and liberal, Germany took a long time to allow same-sex marriage. Here's what's held it back.

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Handelsblatt Explains

What Makes Germany’s Mittelstand Special

The family-owned small- and medium-sized businesses called Mittelstand form the backbone of Europe's largest economy. What unites them is not so much a structure as a culture.

Handelsblatt Explains

How Germany’s Three-Tiered Banking System Works

Germany has more banks per head than any other developed country. Here is how that happened – and why it might not last.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germany is Leading the Charge Against Climate Change

Nowhere is the social consensus “greener” than in Germany. That sets Angela Merkel up as leader of the resistance against Donald Trump.

HANDELSBLATT EXPLAINS

Why Germany Has Lost Faith in America

Even Chancellor Angela Merkel, a life-long admirer of America, no longer recognizes the country of President Donald Trump.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Deutsche Bank Is Becoming More German

After a costly foreign adventure on Wall Street, Germany’s largest bank is returning to its roots.

HANDELSBLATT EXPLAINS

Why Germans Love Their Health Insurance

In contrast to America's mixed system, Germany's non-government, non-profit healthcare promotes solidarity among income groups. The complaints seem modest by comparison.

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