Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Posts Tagged ‘german chancellor’

WJC honors German Chancellor Angela Merkel with 2019 WJC Theodor Herzl Award

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 31 ottobre 2019

MUNICH – World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Monday honored Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel with the 2019 WJC Theodor Herzl Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who work to promote Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world for the Jewish people. The award ceremony was held at the Jewish community center in Munich, co-hosted by President of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria & WJC Commissioner for Holocaust Memory Dr. Charlotte Knobloch.Thanking WJC President Lauder, Chancellor Merkel expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the honor of being chosen as the recipient of this award, saying: “It is humbling for me that I, as a German chancellor, can receive the Theodor Herzl Award today. Jewish life in Germany must be supported – and protected.” Recalling the attack on the synagogue in Halle over Yom Kippur, a “heinous crime that fills us with utmost shame,” Chancellor Merkel said: “These are deeply troubling developments; they are directed at Jews in our country, but by no means only them. Because they attack us all: Jews and non-Jews alike, everything that our country stands on, our values and our freedoms. They hit at the core of our shared existence, because they flow from a deep hatred of democracy. We must never accept the fact that people in Germany have to live in fear because of their religious convictions. We must do everything in our power to make sure they can live their lives free and safe. Antisemitism and racism do not begin with violent acts; it is much subtler. We must make sure not to wake up only after words have become deeds.”The Chancellor underscored the fact that hatred proliferates not just on the streets, but also online, a distinct catalyst to her government’s decision to pass a series of regulations later this week to ensure that incitement and aggressive hate speech are punished more severely.”I regard this award that carries the name of Theodor Herzl as an obligation never to be content with what has been achieved but to continue striving toward a better future in unison with our partners,” Chancellor Merkel said. “I want to encourage all of you to continue working towards a diverse and secure Jewish life in Germany – just as I will continue to do myself.” In presenting the award to the Chancellor, WJC President Lauder underscored the progress made in post-war Germany to rebuild itself and eradicate its dark past. “You, Chancellor Merkel, are the icon of this incredible success. You are the symbol of all that is good in post-war Germany,” WJC President Lauder said. “You are the guardian of democracy, the guardian of civilization and the guardian of Europe… you have always supported the Jewish community in this country. You have always stood by Israel … you are a German leader who has become a one-person dam. A dam against instability. A dam against irrationality. A dam against extremism. A dam against hate. A dam against racism. A dam against antisemitism.” But amid this great progress, WJC President Lauder said, “the ancient hate against the Jews is rearing its ugly head again all over Europe,” at violent levels unprecedented since 1945 – a hatred that demonstrated itself just 19 days ago in Halle, with the deadly Yom Kippur attack. “The problem is not a Jewish problem,” WJC President Lauder said. “It is a German one.” “We must stand united against antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and homophobia. We must fight the haters of every people and of all people. And it’s up to all of us to take action, now,” WJC President Lauder said, laying out a number of steps that should be taken including police protection in all synagogues in school, increased and substantial penalties for anyone who commits an antisemitic attack, prohibition against hate speech of any kind against any group on the Internet, commitment by political parties to expel any member who engages in antisemitism, and the outlawing of all political parties that espouse a neo-Nazi ideology. “The German democracy must defend itself, defend its citizens, and defend its Jews from the dark forces now rising, on the extreme right and the extreme left,” WJC President Lauder said.

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On 28-30 October the German Chancellor will travel to China

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 28 ottobre 2015

merkel angelaThe visit takes place at a time of changing conditions for German-Chinese relations: the period of double-digit growth figures is over. Uncertainty is growing over how the Chinese economy will develop in the future and what the consequences will be for the German export industry in light of China’s move towards a consumer- and service-driven growth model. At the same time a strategic shift is ongoing in China’s European policy – away from Germany and towards the United Kingdom.
Questions to Sebastian Heilmann, director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin
For long time it seemed that continued improvement in German-Chinese relations was inevitable. How do you assess recent developments? Is the praised “golden decade of German-Chinese cooperation” at an end?
Since last year the conditions influencing German-Chinese relations have changed considerably and consequently a clear cooling of relations can be observed. Firstly, with regard to economic relations, there are a number of factors which, from a German perspective, are unfavourable. As part of a changing economic structure in China, the level of demand for industrial goods is falling. At the same time, there is a certain amount of disillusionment among the Chinese as many joint projects have stalled. From the Chinese point of view German industry is too passive in technology cooperation and the Federal Government hasn’t attached enough importance to the innovation partnership.
Indeed, presently very few new initiatives are coming from Germany. This is not surprising in light of the enormous refugee crisis and the continuing issues in the Middle East.
Last October, during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Berlin, a 110-point action framework plan for an innovation partnership was celebrated as the pinnacle of the cooperation. What is your verdict on it nearly a year later?
With respect to this issue, Merkel will have to find encouraging words for disappointed counterparts. The programme was so comprehensive and ambitious that its implementation could only lead to disappointment. From the Chinese perspective Germany has been far too passive in relation to Industry 4.0. Beijing had hoped that German enterprises would have passed on innovative knowledge about interconnected industrial production to Chinese companies. But understandably German companies are sceptical: Industry 4.0 concerns elementary, sensitive new technologies and it is clear that such know-how cannot protected in China. With regard to the digital shift in industrial production, German companies will hardly benefit from their Chinese partners. If the risk for one side is too great and the benefits too small, then such an innovation partnership is doomed to failure regardless of political will.
The relationship at EU level is also unclear: presently the red carpet is being rolled out in the United Kingdom for China’s President Xi. The government in London is proactively seeking to establish closer economic ties with China. In what way does that put pressure on Merkel during her trip?
A strategic shift is taking place in European-Chinese relations which could have serious repercussions for Germany. For more than a decade Germany has been the anchor state for Chinese involvement in Europe. The Chancellor and her government were wooed by the Chinese. Suddenly the UK has left Germany in its tracks with a highly proactive China policy. I think it right to speak of a “changing of the guard”: London is taking over the lead role in relations with China. However, this is not only due to a brilliant diplomatic campaign undertaken by the British government, but is also significantly a result of changing Chinese interests. Whilst from the Chinese side demand for industrial goods has declined, the country’s demand for access to finance and currency markets, as well as general demand for service-related know-how, has increased massively. In this respect the UK is much better positioned than Germany and is better able to meet China’s substantial requirements.
The contrast between German restraint in relations with China and Britain’s proactive policy is a subject that will be raised with the Chancellor by Chinese counterparts while she is in Beijing. Angela Merkel can expect to have a much harder time in Beijing than she has experienced on previous visits. She will also have additional pressure to cope with: the German export industry will expect her to do everything in her power to ensure that business with China doesn’t drop off and that the Chinese markets are further opened up to foreign companies. At the same time, the Chinese government will demand of the Chancellor that Germany present itself in as welcoming and appreciative a way as the British government has recently.
Despite the pressurised situation, the Chancellor will still have some critical words to offer concerning issues like the territorial dispute in the South China Sea or the lack of rule of law in China. However, it is quite possible that Chinese government representatives will not listen to such reproaches with as much patience as they did last year.
China’s economy is experiencing a period of growth slowdown. Growth is far from the previously common double-digit yearly figures. What impact will this have on German companies?
This is not a temporary economic slowdown but a structural and adjustment crisis which will affect many parts of the economy that have up to now been growth drivers. In light of this structural crisis, German companies and investors must adapt their strategies. It is estimated that German capital goods and automobiles will no longer enjoy the same levels of demand growth in China as previously.
How can German companies prepare for the changes?
The good years have come to an end. German companies have to develop new strategies. It will no longer suffice to simply offer expensive, high quality products. Companies must put greater effort into tailoring their products and services to satisfy the needs of domestic customers at competitive prices. It is becoming increasingly important to identify and exploit the regionally varied demand dynamics in the Chinese provinces. At the same time it seems imperative to diversify to export markets beyond China by increasing presence particularly in the US and, despite many uncertainties, also in India and Southeast Asia.
Where can you see continuing good opportunities for German companies in China?
There are very good growth opportunities in sectors such as robotics, control technology, energy conservation, environmental technology, speciality chemicals, or new materials. In the areas of machine engineering and plant construction it is necessary to be more specific: machine tools will be harder hit by market change in China than many less challenging sectors of machine engineering.At the moment German foreign policy is especially preoccupied with the escalating crisis in the Middle East: the rise of the militant group Islamic State and the mass exodus from Syria. How do you assess China’s role in the conflict and to what extent will this issue play a role on Merkel’s trip? As seen during the Ukraine crisis, the Chancellor has previously prevailed upon China to exercise a moderating influence on Russia. In that instance China was not averse to such action and made a significantly positive contribution. The hope now is that involving China once more will help to restrain Russia and, at best, contribute to achieving a multilateral solution to the Syria crisis. During her visit to Beijing the Chancellor will surely try to open up new diplomatic options with respect to Syria.

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