Lidia Conde (Frankfurt) | Germany is its firms. Germany is Deutsche Bank, Bayer, Thyssenkrupp, VW. What German executive Dieter Zetsche said a few weeks ago, that “it is not clear that the brand Mercedes Benz will exist in the future”, symbolises the identity crisis generated by global pressure, digitalisation and the latest technological revolution. Many of the consortia which form part of the German economic identity are between a rock and a hard place. It would be the definitive goodbye to the so-called Germany Ltd.
Articles by Lidia Conde
About the Author
Lidia Conde (Fráncfort) | Achim Wambach has been the president of the European economic think tank ZEW in Mannheim since 2016. He is also president of the antimonopoly commission and the Association for Social Policy. He forms part of National Platform on Electromobility and works in the advisory council of the State of Baden-Württemberg for sustainable economic development.
Lidia Conde (Frankfurt) | All the labour market data in the country are brilliant. Since 2007 it has gone from 40.3 million people in work to 45.2 million in 2019 (45.5 in 2020). In ten years Germany has gone from 8.6% unemployment to 3.1%. There is even a shortage of skilled labour. And its citizens are happier than ever with their quality of life.
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.
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).