Between July 2015 and July 2018, 1.3 million people have sought asylum in Germany. The three years between the festive welcome to the refugees in Munich railway station and the xenophobic revolt in Chemnitz (Saxony) in September – after the stabbing of a 35 year old German, reportedly by foreigners – have seen an unprecedented renaissance of conservative politics.
Articles by Lidia Conde
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Gabriel Felbemayr, since 2010 Director of the Centre for Foreign Economy at the Ifo Institute in Múnich, explains that “the EU has a clear advantage over the US in the old economy: cars, machinery and chemicals. But the US enjoys an advantage in the so-called new economy, in digital and financial services, leisure. This is the target for the EU.”
Trump is contagious. The President of Bavaria, Markus Söder, and the conservative Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, both Social Christians, have found the magic recipe of Germany first politics to defend their coalition’s -CSU is the partner of Merkel’s CDU in Berlin- absolute majority in the next state elections in the region in October.
Lidia Conde (Frankfurt) | “Some German federated states contribute to finance the budgets of other Länder to enjoy a similar living standard, but the experience is that the differences between those who pay and those who receive are consolidated. That’s why this system does not operate in Europe,” says Volker Wieland, one of the five members of the German Government´s Council of Economic Experts.
Is Germany pro-independence? No, no it isn’t, despite the fact that the separtist propaganda operates intelligently in Germany – with Puigdemont top of the list, in his role as the victim of an oppressive and anti-democratic Spain.
“We need automation because we won’t have enough young people to handle the production. And yes, it’s true that jobs will be lost, but without automation and digitalisation we would not be able to feed a growing population, dress it, entertain it, provide health treatment etc.”
In February, acquisitions by Chinese investors in Germany reached a new dimension. A Chinese multi-millionaire has become the biggest shareholder in Daimler AG. The entrance of the influential Li Shufu into the world of Mercedes is proof of the scary Chinese presence in German companies (Deutsche Bank, the robots manufacturer Kuka and in many high tech firms).
European centralism fuels suspicion when Brussels and the poorer States join forces against the wealthier countries to demand more resources. And this is what has happened in Spain, according to many Catalans.
Merkel is negotiating a coalition government with the Greens and the Liberals – who propose opening the country up to the 4.0 world and creating a digitalisation ministry. Meanwhile, the chancellor warns that the idea of the homeland cannot be left to the increasing number of xenophobics in the country.
Lidia Conde | “There are risks, but there is no reason to panic. It’s important that people understand that we can’t do without globalisation. And also that Europe has so many strong points that it can position itself perfectly well in the world. Overall, Europe is still a producer of excellent ideas and high-quality products which can be exported all over the world,” says Karl-Heinz Paqué, Dean at the Faculty of Economics and Management in Otto von Guericke University.