Soccer is like life: if the players are in good shape and focused, Germany wins and becomes world champion. If they are not fit and lack concentration, there is no chance of victory.
Chancellor Angela Merkel watched the 4-2 defeat of the World Cup champions by the runner-up Argentina on Wednesday evening with her ministers from the Christian Democratic Union and her floor leader Volker Kauder at a political gathering in Berlin. At first they were standing. Then, as the German team flailed and failed, they sat down.
The first day of the closed session of the executive committee of Ms. Merkel’s CDU and the Christian Social Union, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, had just ended. Education Minister Johanna Wanka gave a speech about the government’s high-tech strategy. Reimund Neugebauer, the president of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest organization for applied research, reported on the problems in turning patents into products and about the potential for digitalizing the economy.
Fear about an end to economic growth was in the air throughout the meeting.
The party leadership gathered to discuss how Germany can remain fit. The government is still predicting a 1.8 percent rate of growth this year and, if Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has his way, that figure won’t be altered. The goal remains within reach, he said, adding he remains optimistic the government will meet its budgetary targets in 2014 and 2015.