Morning Briefing Global Edition

Waiting for the Bahn

Contrary to popular belief, trains in Germany often don’t run on time. According to calculations by rail carrier Deutsche Bahn, delays in 2015 amounted to a cumulative 8,000 hours per day, up 30 percent since 2009. But these can’t be blamed on the usual suspects such as the weather, politics, congestion or 1 million asylum-seekers. The real culprit appears to be unnecessary renovations to Deutsche Bahn’s own rail network. With 850 construction projects over 33,000 kilometers of track, perhaps less could be more – and more punctual.

 

Bowing to public pressure following Volkswagen’s emissions-rigging scandal, the German transport minister today will present a plan to beef up Europe’s emissions control laws, making life tougher for carmakers, Handelsblatt has learned. Alexander Dobrindt wants to close legal loopholes that let many carmakers turn off diesel emissions controls to “protect’’ engines from road stress. For German lawmakers, who until now have seemed more concerned about cleaning up the auto industry’s image than the air in Germany, today’s trip to Brussels is better late than never.

 

While many divide to conquer, energy conglomerate E.ON is dividing to survive. CEO Johannes Teyssen still thinks his radical split of E.ON into two companies, one focusing on clean energy and the other on fossil fuels, is a momentous, game-changing event. Our balance sheet check today looks at whether Teyssen’s restart can work. Hint: Investors will need nerves of steel. And maybe a tranquilizer.

 

Speaking of someone in need of relaxation, Turkish president Recep Erdoğan has declared that 11 German lawmakers of Turkish origin who voted in favor of calling Turkey’s 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide should undergo blood tests to determine their true “Turkishness.” He also suggested the parliamentarians work for Kurdish separatists. Spoken like a true sultan of the next Ottoman empire.

 

The United States takes a big step toward election primary closure today with voting in six states from New Mexico to New Jersey to California. Donald Trump stands alone among Republicans, while media last night reported Democrat Hillary Clinton had clinched the nomination even before today’s voting begins – based on a suspiciously timed tally of party insider “superdelegates’’ probably released to discourage the followers of her rival, Bernie Sanders. Polls already have her ahead in the general election, but nothing is impossible.

 

Our own election at Handelsblatt to choose your next big interview partner is in full swing, with readers voting for their favorite boss. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is in the lead, but Rocket Internet founder Oliver Samwer is closing in, as well as Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, who runs a family-owned manufacturing firm. Send me an email at steingart@morningbriefing.de to cast your vote until Wednesday evening.

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