Economic Weekly

From Brexit to Berlin to Frankfurt

Belgium EU Brexit
Of course, we have a plan. Source: British Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Brexit Blues

Detailed talks began on Monday between the British Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. It was difficult to avoid the impression that the British side had entered the talks without much of a concept or strategy. Despite the already-apparent harm to business, the British are apparently hoping they will somehow be able to muddle through negotiations – naturally still to the advantage of Britain.

Show Me Your Platform

The German federal election is now in full swing. The center-right CDU and CSU parties, majority partners in the current coalition government, presented their election manifesto to the public on July 3. Now Martin Schulz, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and its candidate to become chancellor, outlined his vision of a modern Germany under social democratic rule on July 16. The really innovative elements of his 10-point program were the idea of an “opportunities account” for adults and a proposal for a “debt brake” on state budgets to be supplemented by an obligation to invest.

The state-funded opportunities account would make up to €20,000 ($23,260) available over the long term to every young adult upon entering employment. The account is intended as a response to the digital transformation of the workplace. It can be used to finance further training, phases of part-time work, a sabbatical or the cost of setting up a business, for example. However, the idea would perhaps have been more appealing if more detailed information had been provided about how it would be financed.

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