Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Thanks to Putin, Germany has woken up

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 agosto 2022

We have two covers this week. In our American and Asian editions we argue that the crisis triggered by the visit of Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, to Taiwan has exposed the fragility of the status quo. Since the previous stand-off in 1995-96, America, China and Taiwan have all grown uneasy with the ambiguities and contradictions on which peace precariously rests. China, especially, has bared its teeth. If the world is to avoid war, it urgently needs to strike a new balance. The danger in this is that China uses the crisis to set new boundaries for its encroachments into what Taiwan considers its airspace and territorial waters. China could also attempt to impose even stricter limits on the island’s dealings with the rest of the world. That must not happen. In our European editions we examine the new Germany. Complacent and just a little self-satisfied, Europe’s most important country was late to realise how fast the world was changing around it. Now, however, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prodded it into action. A remarkable opportunity is within its grasp, as Germans experience a rare thing in a democracy: a consensus about the need for broad, sweeping change to the economy and security. Three days after the invasion, Olaf Scholz, then a new chancellor heading an untested coalition, gave his much-applauded Zeitenwende speech to the Bundestag, signalling a break with the country’s post-war tendency towards pacifism. He has set the agenda for years to come. Mr Putin’s warmongering may prove to be the catalyst that turns Germany into his own nightmare: a stronger, bolder, more determined leader of a more united Europe. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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iLOQ kicks off cooperation with Bayer 04 Leverkusen to strengthen growth in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 luglio 2021

The first phase of the cooperation is the installation during the summer of the iLOQ S5 digital locking system in Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s 30,210 capacity BayArena stadium.The BayArena is one of the most modern stadia in Europe. It was only right, therefore, that they chose the most innovative locking solution in the market. iLOQ’s digital locks are powered by the kinetic energy produced when inserting the key.“With iLOQ’s solution, no batteries or cables are needed. This saves us costs related to purchasing and changing batteries and removes the environmental impact of disposing of the battery waste. Access rights are programmed to the key, meaning that only one key is needed to access all locks in the premises. We can quickly and easily cancel access rights of lost or stolen keys and securely reprogram them which means there are no costs related to replacing or re-keying locks and no need to change any of the keys still in use,” explains Wolfgang Seßmann, Head of Strategic Building Management for the BayArena.iLOQ S5 is part of the iLOQ 5 Series which also includes the iLOQ S50 mobile access sharing solution where a mobile phone acts as both a key and a power source. The locking administration team will take advantage of the benefits of the battery-free and keyless iLOQ S50 as the installation expands to include Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s other facilities at a later date.“This is a great opportunity for iLOQ. We look forward to making life more accessible for staff and visitors to the stadium and to boosting our brand in the German market. And, as a company with its roots in Finland, we are also excited that Finnish national team goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky is an integral part of the Bayer 04 Leverkusen squad,” states iLOQ’s Germany Managing Director, Sascha Hilgers.“With exclusive status as a ‘Safety Partner’ of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, iLOQ will belong to a selected group of brands that make a productive contribution to the future of Bayer 04 Leverkusen. iLOQ’s presence will be seen on advertising boards and on the TV video panel at the stadium, in all Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s digital communications and at iLOQ’s stakeholder events,” states iLOQ’s Chief Marketing Officer, Joni Lampinen.

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IBM and Fraunhofer bring Quantum Computing to Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 16 marzo 2020

Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin – The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s leading organization for applied research, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today the signing of the agreement aimed at advancing quantum computing in Germany. The collaboration gives companies and research institutions access to IBM quantum computers in Germany and the USA under the umbrella of a nationwide Fraunhofer competence network. The aim is to research the technology, application scenarios and algorithms while generating competence development and competitive advantages for the local economy and science.
As part of the collaboration, an IBM Q System One quantum computer will be installed in a IBM computer center near Stuttgart. The system is scheduled to go into operation in early 2021 and will be the first of its kind in Europe. Fraunhofer plans to bring together established partners from research and industry under the umbrella of a research infrastructure of Fraunhofer institutes, which will work together in a centrally coordinated national Fraunhofer competence network for quantum computing.
This network has set itself the goal of further developing and transferring application-oriented quantum computing strategies under complete data sovereignty of European law and will initially be represented by competence centers in expected six German states – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Berlin, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, more than ten Fraunhofer Institutes are already working on various fields of quantum technology.As early as April 1, 2020, interested companies and research institutions will have access to the world’s largest group of quantum computers in the US-based IBM Quantum Computation Center under the umbrella of the nationwide Fraunhofer competence network. The IBM Quantum Computation Center currently comprises 15 systems and is located in the US state of New York. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will offer Fraunhofer technical support and assistance in using the IBM Quantum systems.
IBM System Q One is optimized to ensure the quality, stability, reliability and reproducibility of multi-qubit applications. Due to these factors and the resulting high quantum volume (a measure of the performance of a quantum computer), the IBM System Q One enables state-of-the-art research for concrete application scenarios in science and industry. In 2016, IBM was the first company to make universal quantum computers accessible via the cloud. An active community of more than 200,000 users have run hundreds of billions of executions on real IBM Quantum hardware, and have published more than 200 research papers based on these experiments. IBM is also the first company to have commercial clients via the IBM Q Network, a community of more than 100 businesses, start-ups, research labs, education institutions and governments working with IBM to advance quantum computing.

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Leyard to Open EMEA Headquarters and Showroom in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 luglio 2019

Leyard, a global leader in visualization products, announced it relocated its EMEA headquarters and showroom to Reutlingen, Germany, formerly eyevis’ headquarters, and opened new showrooms in Dubai and Moscow.“The Leyard EMEA headquarters and showroom benefits from Reutlingen as a leading economic region not only in Germany but also Europe, and coincides with the full integration of eyevis and Teracue into our brand companies, which includes Planar,” said Thorsten Lipp, chief operating officer and acting CEO, Leyard EMEA. “Our combined expertise in manufacturing, marketing, sales and customer service allows us to innovate and deliver solutions that meet the diverse and growing needs of any European customer.”
The new Leyard EMEA headquarters previously served as headquarters for eyevis and includes 5,000 meters of space used for administration, production, testing, assembly, customer service, and a showroom. Leyard maintains showrooms across EMEA, including new showrooms in Moscow and Dubai. Each showroom is strategically designed for Leyard to be in close proximity to its customers, allowing the company to both build long-term relationships and provide spaces for customer meetings, events and trainings, and demonstrations of Leyard’s portfolio of groundbreaking and award-winning display solutions. Showrooms in Moscow and Dubai are now open, and the 500 square meter Reutlingen showroom will open for operation in the summer of 2019 and an official grand opening is planned for autumn 2019. These showrooms add to Leyard’s existing showrooms in Paris, Rome and Prešov, Slovakia.
Leyard EMEA also maintains a 3,119 square meter (33,500 square feet) factory in Prešov, Slovakia, which enables the company to serve its global customer base, providing unrivaled quality of its digital displays and video walls, especially those who prefer to purchase digital display solutions built in the European Union (EU). Leyard products are available through the company’s worldwide network of authorized resellers. For more information, visit

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The VIII Global Energy Prize Summit in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 aprile 2019

The VIII Global Energy Prize Summit will take place at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, on April 10, 2019. Under the heading “Energy in the new technological cycle” world-leading scientists, politicians and industry experts from 13 countries will meet to discuss the most pressing energy and climate challenges of today. Within the framework of this topic, a panel session and several round tables will be held at the Summit. World experts share the view that humanity is on the threshold of a new technological cycle, which entails changes in the main spheres of society. Undoubtedly, the transition to a new stage is not possible without efficient, reliable and safe energy. Are the world community and modern infrastructure facilities ready for large-scale transformations? The participants of the panel session “Energy in the new technological cycle” will consider the obstacles to transitioning to a new paradigm, the trends of the future of energy, and how humanity will benefit from this next industrial revolution. In addition, experts will identify ways to achieve universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy sources for all, which the UN defines as one of the key goals of sustainable mankind`s development. According to the UN, one in five people worldwide does not have access to electricity. More than a billion people, mostly in rural areas, suffer from “energy hunger”. The round table “Energy requirements for sustainable development” will consider the environmental, economic, and social aspects of achieving global energy goals and the role of international energy cooperation in this regard.The need to determine these factors today is dictated, among other things, by the fact that the scale of change and the complexity of implementing the solutions that the current industrial revolution will require is different from previous global transformations. This revolution is characterized by full automation of production, the growing role of robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as the increasing interconnection between people and machines. The introduction of cyber-physical systems and the digitalization of production processes will not only lead to significant changes in traditional industries, but also to the creation of entirely new sectors of the economy.Do we expect the revolution, or do we already live in it? What changes do we need to prepare for? Will robots and unmanned equipment be able to replace humans? Which projects of the future are already being implemented today? The experts at the round table on the fourth industrial revolution will answer these questions, among others, and consider the impact of the new technological reality on the energy sector. “Our generation is witnessing global technological changes that will affect all spheres of society. The scale of these changes is comparable to the invention of the steam engine, the first computer technology, the world wide web. We live in a period of transition. Technology is changing faster than ever, creating new challenges, including in the energy sector. We need to be prepared to accept the demands of the new era. For these purposes, it is necessary to develop a common strategy of action. I am convinced that our Summit as a permanent communication platform will help to find solutions to these issues and will contribute to the development of energy dialogue, in which the leading role is assigned to scientists-developers of advanced technologies,” said the Acting President of the Global Energy Association Alexander Ignatov.In addition to the discussion part of the Summit, the Global Energy Association will also present its new Global Energy Youth Program. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has previously expressed interest in the project and is already selecting its students to participate in it. The best researchers of the KIT will present their scientific work to the Global Energy Association`s experts and will receive meaningful assessments of their works. The authors of the best projects will get a chance to be one of the first to join the Global Energy Youth Program.

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Germany and France Invest in European Battery Production

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 25 marzo 2019

Blackstone Resources AG (SWX: BLS; STU: 4BR, FRA: 4BR, BEB: 4BR) (“Blackstone”) is pleased to announce that it has formally submitted a detailed business plan to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to join its battery production subsidy programme. Germany and France have both respectively set up their own 1 billion and 700 million-euro subsidy programmes to facilitate battery production in Europe. This demonstrates that these countries fully support expanding the capacity for battery production in Europe with the aim of making Europe a global leader. Since the European car industry is now strongly committed to rolling out their own lines of fully electric vehicles, this represents an important strategic move.Blackstone along with a number of prominent battery technology firms where invited to summarise their plans and submit their applications for financing to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Blackstone’s 100% owned subsidiary based in Erfurt has applied for this particular programme, where one billion euros has been pledged to support Germany’s ambitions to become the world leader in battery technology and production.Blackstone has ambitious goals for the German market. It plans to take full advantage of Germany’s manufacturing prowess and strong innovative culture. Germany’s motivated workforce and additional support from governmental departments and the EU was the decisive factor for Blackstone’s participation.Blackstone will cooperate with additional German partners, which will provide an important platform for further research. This will allow Blackstone to establish a substantial battery-production project in Germany. The aim is to use these new technologies to manufacture the next generation of electric-vehicle batteries, close to where German auto manufacturers are based. EUR 200 million will be invested into this new project, initially from Blackstone’s own funds with the aim to garner further support from Germany’s subsidy programme and similar programmes being launched elsewhere in Europe, such as France.Blackstone’s management team has laid out a number of significant goals and milestone that it wishes to achieve in the German market.The first is to create battery manufacturing facilities in close proximity to major German auto makers. Its aim it to offer an initial capacity of 100 million battery cells per annum or approximately 1 gigawatt per annum (which is the equivalent of 25,000 to 100,000 electric-vehicle batteries) at lower costs than what is presently produced by China. Once successfully achieved, plans will be drawn up to increase production substantially.The second is to create an incubator fund and accelerator fund for numerous start-ups and academic research projects across Europe. In addition, Blackstone will cooperate with prominent universities from various cities. Blackstone has already conducted detailed due diligence on a number of highly promising projects and has started the evaluation process.

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European Investment Fund and Fraunhofer join forces to establish joint technology transfer fund in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 1 marzo 2019

The European Investment Fund (EIF) cooperates with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to launch the Fraunhofer Tech Transfer Fund under the European Commission’s InnovFin programme with a total volume of 60 million euros. They will be supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, EFSI, the heart of the Juncker Plan. The aim is to commercialize the intellectual property generated at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft from its 72 thematic Fraunhofer Institutes across Germany. The agreement is also supported by InnovFin, the European programme for innovative small and medium businesses. The two complementary partners – the EIF as an expert in fund structures and Fraunhofer as Europe’s largest application-oriented research institution – want to bridge the gap in early commercialization phases and grow more high-tech start-ups in Germany and Europe. (by

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In a statement, green energy provider LichtBlick has called for the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 3 febbraio 2019

Germany Sees Red: Eon Becoming a New Energy Monopoly. Commission to block the mega-deal between RWE and Eon which would restructure the energy market. The statement was composed by the law firm Raue LLP, which specializes in competition law. “The plans of these two energy giants aim to put an end to the competitive electricity market in Germany. The victims of this are electricity customers who must take higher energy prices into account. The antitrust authorities must halt this plan,” says Gero Lücking, Managing Director of Energy Management at LichtBlick.Additional information, a map of Germany showing the market strength of the new Eon and detailed background information can be found at
LichtBlick is a green energy provider. Over one million members of the LichtBlick community have already set store in the pure energy of the pioneer and market leader for green energy and gas. With SchwarmEnergie®, the innovative company is developing digital energy solutions for homes and businesses. LichtBlick employees 460 people and generated a turnover of EUR 700 million in 2017. Info:

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EOS imaging Announces First Private Practice Installation of An EOS® System in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 giugno 2018

EOS imaging (Paris:EOSI) (Euronext, FR0011191766 – EOSI – Eligible PEA – PME), the pioneer of 2D/3D imaging and data solutions for orthopedics, today announced the installation of an EOS® imaging system at ATOS Klinik Heidelberg, establishing it as first private practice in Germany to offer the low-dose 2D/3D imaging system.The system will be available at the spinal surgery center, Zentrum für Wirbelsäulenchirurgie, a private practice led by Dr. Bernd Wiedenhöfer and Dr. Stefan Matschke, two specialists with 20 years of experience in spine therapy each. The practice specializes in non-surgical and surgical treatments of spinal disorders, providing diagnosis and therapy through cutting-edge medicine and state-of-the-art equipment, with an emphasis on patient safety.“EOS imaging utilizes advanced scanning technology to allow ultra-low dose imaging of the entire body,” commented Dr. Wiedenhöfer. “Within a few seconds, the system provides a comprehensive overview of the patient in with up to 90% less radiation than a conventional X-ray and 100% reproduction of the ratios and angles. The resulting benefits for diagnosis and therapy of spinal pathologies are immense, and we are thrilled to now offer this vital technology.”
“Because the EOS® system provides a full-body 2D and 3D images, the patient can be assessed as a whole, which is not possible with a traditional X-ray,” added Dr. Matschke. “EOS® allows to accurately determine clinical parameters such as pelvic obliquity or sagittal disbalance, with valuable advantages for enabling physicians to provide the best treatment plans possible for our patients.”“We have been working to expand the use of the EOS® system in private practices, which serve a significant patient population, as we feel it is important to also offer safe and effective imaging to patients outside the traditional hospital setting,” commented Marie Meynadier, Chief Executive Officer of EOS imaging. “This installation is particularly important for EOS, as it is the first private practice to offer the system in Germany, a key market for us with notable precedent for adopting advanced technologies.”

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SolarEdge Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Huawei and Distributor in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 giugno 2018

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (“SolarEdge”) (NASDAQ: SEDG), a global leader in smart energy, announced today that it has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., a Chinese entity, Huawei Technologies Düsseldorf GmbH, a German entity, and WATTKRAFT Solar GmbH, a German distributor for Huawei.The lawsuit, filed in the Regional Court of Mannheim in Germany, one of the most pre-eminent German patent courts, asserts unauthorized use of patented technology, which is prohibited by law, and is intended to protect SolarEdge’s significant investment in its innovative DC optimized inverter technology. Seeking monetary damages, an injunction, and recall of infringing Huawei inverters from the German market, the lawsuit is intended to prevent the defendants from selling any multi-level inverters infringing upon SolarEdge’s PV inverter technology protected in the asserted patent in Germany.“The success of the entire PV industry has been and continues to be driven by innovative technology that makes PV energy more affordable and ubiquitous. Such innovation requires significant financial investment and years of dedication and hard work from skilled R&D engineers. The PV industry cannot sustain such efforts under the constant threat of, in our view, illegal use of proprietary technology and we will not remain silent as our intellectual property is exploited,” stated Guy Sella, CEO, Chairman, and Founder of SolarEdge. “SolarEdge’s patents and other intellectual property are the result of our relentless pursuit of innovation and commitment towards worldwide PV proliferation. In order to protect our intellectual property, we are taking legal action against Huawei and its distributor.” As a global leader in smart energy technology with world-class engineering capabilities, SolarEdge holds 126 awarded patents, 169 additional patent applications worldwide, and other extensive intellectual property covering smart energy technology.

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The spotlight shifts from Germany to France

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 30 settembre 2017

macron1WHO leads Europe? At the start of this year, the answer was obvious. Angela Merkel was trundling unstoppably towards a fourth election win, while Britain was out, Italy down and stagnating France gripped by the fear that Marine Le Pen might become the Gallic Donald Trump. This week, it all looks very different. Mrs Merkel won her election on September 24th, but with such a reduced tally of votes and seats that she is a diminished figure (see article). Germany faces months of tricky three-way coalition talks. Some 6m voters backed a xenophobic right-wing party, many of them in protest at Mrs Merkel’s refugee policies. Having had no seats, Alternative for Germany, a disruptive and polarising force, is now the Bundestag’s third largest party.Yet west of the Rhine, with a parliament dominated by his own new-minted and devoted party, France’s President Emmanuel Macron is bursting with ambition (see our special report in this issue). This week he used a speech about the European Union to stake his claim to the limelight. Whether Mr Macron can restore France to centre-stage in the EU after a decade in the chorus depends not just on his plans for Europe, but also on his success at home, reforming a country long seen as unreformable.
This week’s speech was brimming over with ideas, including a shared military budget and an agency for “radical innovation”, as well as the desire to strengthen the euro zone. At one level, Mr Macron’s bid for the role of intellectual innovator in Europe fits a long French tradition. Moreover, elements of his speech—a new carbon-tax on the EU’s frontiers, a proposal to tax foreign tech firms where they make money rather than where they are registered, a crusade against “social dumping” with harmonised corporate tax rates—were in keeping with long-standing French attempts to stop member states competing “disloyally” against each other.Yet Mr Macron has a more subtle and radical goal than old-style dirigisme; as if to prove it, he agreed this week that Alstom, which makes high-speed trains, could drift from state influence by merging with its private-sector German rival. His aim is to see off populism by striking a balance between providing job security for citizens, on the one hand, and encouraging them to embrace innovation, which many fear will cost them their jobs, on the other (see Charlemagne). In his speech Mr Macron also made the case for digital disruption and the completion of the digital single market. Euro-zone reform would make Europe less vulnerable to the next financial crisis.
The merit of these ideas depends on whether they lead to a more enterprising, open and confident Europe or to a protectionist fortress. But they may not be tried out at all unless Mr Macron can make a success of his policies at home. For, if France remains a threat to the EU’s economic stability rather than a source of its strength, its president can never be more than a bit player next to Germany’s chancellor.
Mr Macron’s domestic policy might seem to have made a poor start. He has grabbed headlines thanks to the size of his make-up bill, the collapse of his popularity and the whiff of arrogance about his “Jupiterian” approach to power. Predictably, the grouchy French are already contesting the legitimacy of the plans they elected Mr Macron to carry out. Reform in France, it seems, follows a pattern. The street objects; the government backs down; immobilisme sets in.
Yet take a closer look, and Mr Macron may be about to break the pattern. Something extraordinary, if little-noticed, took place this summer. While most of the French were on the beach, Mr Macron negotiated and agreed with unions a far-reaching, liberalising labour reform which he signed into law on September 22nd—all with minimal fuss. Neither France’s militant unions, nor its fiery far left, have so far drawn the mass support they had hoped for onto the streets. Fully 59% of the French say that they back labour reform. More protests will follow. Harder battles, over pensions, taxation, public spending and education, lie ahead. Mr Macron needs to keep his nerve, but, astonishingly, he has already passed his first big test.In many ways, the 39-year-old Mr Macron is not yet well understood. Behind the haughty exterior, a leader is emerging who seems to be at once brave, disciplined and thoughtful. Brave, because labour reforms, as Germany and Spain know, take time to translate into job creation, and usually hand political rewards to the successors of those who do the thankless work of getting them through. Disciplined, because he laid out clearly before his election what he planned to do, and has stuck to his word. The unions were fully consulted, and two of the three biggest accepted the reform. Compare that with his predecessor, François Hollande, who tried reform by stealth and encountered only accusations of bad faith. Last, thoughtful: Mr Macron does not approach policy as an à la carte menu. He has grasped how digital technology is dislocating the world of work. His governing philosophy is to adapt France’s outdated system of rules and protections accordingly.
Over the past few years, an enfeebled France has been a chronically weak partner for Germany, pushing Mrs Merkel into a solo role that she neither sought nor relished. If he is to change that dynamic, Mr Macron needs to move swiftly to match his labour law with an overhaul of France’s inefficient training budget, increase the number of apprenticeships and renovate the state’s sleepy employment services. He also needs to explain with a less contemptuous tone why his plans for tax cuts, including to France’s wealth tax and corporate tax, are not designed simply to benefit business and the better-off. In Europe he needs to reassure the northern, more open economies that he is not trying to put up walls.Of course, Mr Macron’s first steps in the spotlight may falter. The odds on any leader reforming France are never high. He will struggle to convince Germany to embrace his vision of euro-zone reform. But, if this year has shown anything, it is that it is a mistake to bet against the formidable Mr Macron.This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “Europe’s new order” (by The Economist)

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Pessimism and optimism on Germany after its election

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 26 settembre 2017

german electionThe far-right Alternative for Germany, a party with real neo-Nazis in it, is on track for 93 seats. It might even come first in the state of Saxony, where its lead candidate is a man who rails against “mixed peoples” and Germany’s “cult of guilt” about the Holocaust. In the Bundestag the party will enjoy resources and prominence: hundreds of staff members, allocated speaking time under the glass dome of the Reichstag building and seats on prime-time political talk shows from where it can spread its messages and thus advance further. It is only a matter of time until it joins a coalition at state level. The shouty “Elephant Round” (a post-election TV discussion between the party leaders, pictured above with the Free Democrats’ Christian Lindner and Angela Merkel) was the overture to a new period of political discord in a once-harmonious country.Meanwhile the two main parties that have underpinned Germany’s reputation for centrist sensibleness—the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD)—are on their lowest combined vote share since the war. The SPD having ruled out a new “grand coalition” with her, a weakened Angela Merkel must now form a highly wobbly and possibly dysfunctional “Jamaica” coalition with the right-liberal FDP and the environmentalist Greens, who have spent much of the past few weeks at each other’s throats.
The Christian Social Union, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, seems to have ended its pre-election ceasefire and is now grumpier than ever, having lost about a quarter of its support ahead of a crucial state election in Bavaria next year. It is demanding that Mrs Merkel secure her right flank. Meanwhile with the somewhat Eurosceptic FDP in the finance ministry, optimistic talk of a new Franco-German axis can go out the window.
Germany is launched into a period of new political instability and just at the point when other problems are starting to grow. The mighty car industry is in crisis. The baby boomer bulge is about to retire. The infrastructure is deteriorating. Demands on Germany to do more for international security are growing. The work of integrating the over 1m people who arrived since Mrs Merkel conspicuously kept the country’s doors open two years ago is still young. Dark clouds are gathering over the country.
Germany has generously taken in over 1m people in two years. There was bound to be a reaction, not least given the way Mrs Merkel handled the decision: taking it at the last minute, without much consultation and without “rolling the pitch” of public opinion first. Meanwhile she made basic, corrigible mistakes during her election campaign. This was intellectually lazy, offering platitudes (for a Germany in which we live well and gladly) rather than engaging in difficult debates. She underestimated voters’ discernment and paid a fair price, nonetheless doing just fractionally worse than in her first two successful bids for the chancellory, in 2005 and 2009.In any case, the AfD’s performance—high at 13% but short of private pre-election predictions of 15% or more—was part of a broader story: the rise of smaller parties tapping into voter restlessness after 12 years of Mrs Merkel, during eight of which she has helmed flabby grand-coalitions with the SPD. In many respects this fragmentation is a fair response to a tired and platitudinous political establishment summed up by the dismal TV debate between Mrs Merkel and Martin Schulz, her SPD rival—which compared unfavourably with a more substantive debate at the small parties’ encounter two days later.
german election1The result could even reinvigorate German democracy. The SPD is returning to opposition, where Mr Schulz’s natural pugilism will come into its own and, together with the modernising energies of figures like Manuela Schwesig, could enable the party to go into the post-Merkel election in 2021 revived and newly competitive. In the meantime it may well outshine the chaotic and infighting-ridden AfD, which will be forced by the rigours of the legislature to alienate parts of its sprawling and disjointed electoral coalition (“the relationship between the AfD and its voters is weak”, notes Cas Mudde, an authority on populism). New powers and resources might give the AfD’s high command more things to fight about. And there is such a thing as bad publicity.Meanwhile the Jamaica coalition Mrs Merkel must now build could constructively shake up Germany’s sleepy consensus: the Greens pushing drastic and welcome progress towards electric cars and renewable energy and the FDP driving advances on long-neglected subjects like red-tape reduction and digitalisation. Many of the differences between the Greens and FDP were exaggerated for the election (the leading figures of the two parties, Cem Özdemir and Christian Lindner, address each other with “du”, or the informal pronoun; they get on, in other words). And anyway, a bit of conflict in the next government may do the country more good than harm, blowing away the cobwebs.The truth, of course, lies somewhere between pessimism and optimism. But to which is it closer? That will take some digestion. But my instinct is that the “Germany for optimists” is the more accurate. The election result is unsettling on several fronts, deeply so where the AfD is concerned. But much of Germany’s pre-election tranquility was illusory anyway. The anger had been building for years; the AfD’s success has just brought it to the surface, where perhaps it can even be understood and addressed. Questions that were going unanswered, tensions that were going unconfronted, now brook no oversight. (by The Economist corrispondent) graphic: german election)

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France and Germany: Spearheading a European Security and Defence Union?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 settembre 2017

france germanyThe Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has become one of the most dynamic fields of European integration. The destabilisation of the EU’s neighbourhood, Brexit, and uncertainty in the transatlantic security partnership were important drivers behind this revitalisation. France and Germany reacted by jointly propagating the vision of a European Security and Defence Union. However, the CSDP is a policy area that has often been characterised by a gap between vision and action.
This paper, by Nicole Koenig, Senior research fellow at the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin, and Marie Walter-Franke, Research associate at the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin, offers a cautious assessment of the current window of opportunity, based on two questions:
First, is the necessary condition for deeper defence integration, a unified Franco-German leadership, really met? Second, is it a sufficient condition for the development of an ambitious Security and Defence Union? The review of new drivers and old constraints offers a mixed picture. Despite a degree of strategic convergence between France and Germany, long-standing differences in terms of political culture and public perception persist. Not all EU member states are keen to follow the Franco-German lead. This mixed assessment explains why the EU has so far only taken cautious steps towards a European Security and Defence Union. In light of the mix between drivers and constraints, this paper advocates incremental steps towards a more ambitious European Security and Defence Union. (photo: france germany)

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How Germany responds to “blood and soil” politics

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 agosto 2017

pictures1TO VIEW the footage of crowds in Charlottesville yelling Nazi slogans and flying Swastika banners is troubling anywhere. But do so from Berlin is particularly so. America in 2017 is not Germany in 1933. But the chants about “blood and soil”, the flaming torches, the Nazi salutes, the thuggery and violence turned on objectors—the whole furious display of armed ethno-nationalism—are nonetheless chillingly evocative. Similarly so is the strenuous ambivalence about it all from Donald Trump and some of his media cheerleaders. It could hardly contrast more vividly with how things are done here: Germany today is a case study in how not to give an inch to the dark politics of “Blut und Boden”.That begins with the significance placed on remembering where this politics led in the past. Every German school child must visit a concentration camp; as essential a part of the curriculum as learning to write or count. The country’s cities are landscapes of remembrance. Streets and squares are named after resisters. Little brass squares in the pavements (Stolpersteine, or stumbling stones) contain the names and details of Holocaust victims who once lived at those addresses. Memorials dot the streets: plaques commemorating specific persecuted groups, boards listing the names of concentration camps (“places of horror which we must never forget”), a giant field of grey pillars in central Berlin attesting to the Holocaust (pictured).
The murky interstitial terrain–the Trump Zone, you might call it–between the conservative mainstream and categorically far-right movements like PEGIDA, an anti-Islam group, and the extremist NPD party is broadly off-limits. Relativisation, endorsement by hint or omission, far-right symbols as “irony”, dog-whistle prevarications and creeping extenuation are rarely tolerated. Take the Alternative for Germany [AfD], a Eurosceptic-turned-nationalist party, some of whose more moderate figures would comfortably fit into America’s Republican or Britain’s Conservative parties but which is now entirely toxic thanks to revisionist figures on its right like Björn Höcke, its leader in Thuringia who has challenged Germany’s remembrance culture.The line between the acceptable and unacceptable, in other words, is stark. Angela Merkel has said Germany’s very future depends on it continually understanding the Holocaust as “the ultimate betrayal of civilised values”. When Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had proposed exterminating the Jewish people to Hitler, she politely but firmly corrected him: “Germany abides by its responsibility for the Holocaust.” Martin Schulz, her rival in next month’s election, often thunders: “The AfD is not an ‘alternative for Germany’ but a disgrace for Germany!”Commentators and politicians guard this boundary carefully, for example by eschewing the register and language of the far right. They tend not to brand critics and opponents “traitors”, “saboteurs” or the like. Migrants are rarely denominated in “swarms” or “floods”. The Bild Zeitung, a right-wing tabloid and Germany’s most-read newspaper, has criticised elements of the government’s handling of the refugee crisis. But it proudly stands up for the principle of welcoming foreigners in need; in 2015 its then editor-in-chief even pointedly took in refugees to his home. The result is a decidedly sober and unemotional style of public debate less prone than that of other countries to grandstanding or furious invective. The Berlin terrorist attack in December was reported factually and without panic; frothing reactions in the Anglo-Saxon press (and on Mr Trump’s Twitter feed) contrasting with the stoical mood here.
Free speech is upheld: marches by PEGIDA and sometimes even leafleting events by nationalist politicians receive police protection. But this right to expression remains firmly distinguished from a right to publicity or acceptance. When Mr Höcke unfurled a German flag on a talk show to mark “1000 years of Germany” (a phrase with Nazi associations), fellow guests from right and left branded him “disgusting”. Far-right movements are treated overwhelmingly as cultural phenomena rather than–as is sometimes the case in France, Britain and America–mere expressions of socio-economic dislocation. Finis Germania, a recently published book claiming that German identity is being dismantled, has been excised from some bestseller lists. One can believe that this hyper-cautious editorial style sometimes goes too far, as I do in that case of the bestseller lists, while admiring the underlying determination to allow no slippage or normalisation.Germany, of course, carries a unique historical burden. But every country has dark periods in its national past and far-right revisionists in its political present. The Charlottesville protests, marching under Confederate flags against plans to remove Confederate statues, are a distinctively American reminder of that (indeed, the Nazis were inspired by Jim Crow laws and studied segregation as a possible model for German society). Countries without Holocausts on their history books can also learn from Germany’s grown-up, vigilant and dutiful culture of remembrance. In America that may mean removing Confederate symbols from public spaces; Jim Grey, the mayor of Lexington, has announced plans to accelerate this in his city. It means unambiguously declaring the Charlottesville protesters beyond the pale (while defending their right to protest peacefully). And it means calling out Mr Trump’s equivocal statements for what they are: a moral abomination. (Dig deeper: Riots in Charlottesville: President Trump flunks a moral test by The Economist)

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Why Germany’s current-account surplus is bad for the world economy

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 luglio 2017

germanyTHE battle-lines are drawn. When the world’s big trading nations convene this week at a G20 summit in Hamburg, the stage is set for a clash between a protectionist America and a free-trading Germany. President Donald Trump has already pulled out of one trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and demanded the renegotiation of another, the North American Free-Trade Agreement. He is weighing whether to impose tariffs on steel imports into America, a move that would almost certainly provoke retaliation. The threat of a trade war has hung over the Trump presidency since January. In contrast, Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor and the summit’s host, will bang the drum for free trade. In a thinly veiled attack on Mr Trump, she delivered a speech on June 29th condemning the forces of protectionism and isolationism. An imminent free-trade deal between Japan and the European Union will add substance to her rhetoric
There is no question who has the better of this argument. Mr Trump’s doctrine that trade must be balanced to be fair is economically illiterate. His belief that tariffs will level the playing field is naive and dangerous: they would shrink prosperity for all. But in one respect, at least, Mr Trump has grasped an inconvenient truth. He has admonished Germany for its trade surplus, which stood at almost $300bn last year, the world’s largest (China’s hoard was a mere $200bn). His threatened solution—to put a stop to sales of German cars—may be self-defeating, but the fact is that Germany saves too much and spends too little. And the size and persistence of Germany’s savings hoard makes it an awkward defender of free trade. At bottom, a trade surplus is an excess of national saving over domestic investment. In Germany’s case, this is not the result of a mercantilist government policy, as some foreigners complain. Nor, as German officials often insist, does it reflect the urgent need for an ageing society to save more. The rate of household saving has been stable, if high, for years; the increase in national saving has come from firms and the government. Underlying Germany’s surplus is a decades-old accord between business and unions in favour of wage restraint to keep export industries competitive (see article). Such moderation served Germany’s export-led economy well through its postwar recovery and beyond. It is an instinct that helps explain Germany’s transformation since the late 1990s from Europe’s sick man to today’s muscle-bound champion.There is much to envy in Germany’s model. Harmony between firms and workers has been one of the main reasons for the economy’s outperformance. Firms could invest free from the worry that unions would hold them to ransom. The state played its part by sponsoring a system of vocational training that is rightly admired. In America the prospects for men without college degrees have worsened along with a decline in manufacturing jobs—a cause of the economic nationalism espoused by Mr Trump. Germany has not entirely escaped this, but it has held on to more of the sorts of blue-collar jobs that America grieves for. This is one reason why the populist AfD party remains on the fringes of German politics.
But the adverse side-effects of the model are increasingly evident. It has left the German economy and global trade perilously unbalanced. Pay restraint means less domestic spending and fewer imports. Consumer spending has dropped to just 54% of GDP, compared with 69% in America and 65% in Britain. Exporters do not invest their windfall profits at home. And Germany is not alone; Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands have been piling up big surpluses, too.For a large economy at full employment to run a current-account surplus in excess of 8% of GDP puts unreasonable strain on the global trading system. To offset such surpluses and sustain enough aggregate demand to keep people in work, the rest of the world must borrow and spend with equal abandon. In some countries, notably Italy, Greece and Spain, persistent deficits eventually led to crises. Their subsequent shift towards surplus came at a heavy cost. The enduring savings glut in northern Europe has made the adjustment needlessly painful. In the high-inflation 1970s and 1980s Germany’s penchant for high saving was a stabilising force. Now it is a drag on global growth and a target for protectionists such as Mr Trump.Can the problem be fixed? Perhaps Germany’s bumper trade surplus will be eroded as China’s was, by a surge in wages. Unemployment is below 4% and the working-age population will shrink, despite strong immigration. After decades of decline, the cost of housing is rising, meaning that pay does not stretch as far as it used to. The institutions behind wage restraint are losing influence. The euro may surge. Yet the German instinct for caution is deeply rooted. Pay rose by just 2.3% last year, more slowly than in the previous two years. Left to adjust, the surplus might take many years to fall to a sensible level.The government should help by spending more. Germany’s structural budget balance has gone from a deficit of over 3% of GDP in 2010 to a small surplus. Officials call this prudence but, given high private-sector savings, it is hard to defend. Germany has plenty of worthwhile projects to spend money on. Its school buildings and roads are crumbling, because of the squeeze on public investment required to meet its own misguided fiscal rules. The economy lags behind in its readiness for digitalisation, ranking 25th in the world in average download speeds. Greater provision of after-school care by the state would let more mothers work full-time, in an economy where women’s participation is low. Some say such expansion is impossible, because of full employment. Yet in a market economy, there is a tried and trusted way to bid for scarce resources: pay more.Above all, it is long past time for Germany to recognise that its excessive saving is a weakness. Mrs Merkel is absolutely right to proclaim the message of free trade. But she and her compatriots need to understand that Germany’s surpluses are themselves a threat to free trade’s legitimacy. (by The Economist) (photo: germany)

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Catella chosen for negotiation procedure in an EUR 400 million development project in Germany

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 Maggio 2017

catellaIn a Europe-wide tender Catella, in cooperation with Interboden, has been chosen for a negotiation procedure in the development of an urban quarter in Mönchengladbach, named City Ost. The new urban quarter, close to the central station, will characterise the inner city of Mönchengladbach. “Catella develops investment products that sustainably match the needs of users and investors. Locations nearby the central station and urban quarter are highly suitable for this kind of investment,” says Klaus Franken, head of Catella’s Project Management in Germany.The investment volume of the project amounts to EUR 400 million, and it has a gross floor area of 150,000 square metres. The main focus is on residential use, and spans a target groups from singles to families and “Best Agers”. Approximately 1,000 apartments will be built around the lake. The aim is to provide for all kinds of daily needs, such as sports, gastronomy and retail stores, within a car-free zone.For Catella, these kinds of urban quarters and mixed-used projects are an attractive and long-term investment. Catella is already developing the Grand Central project in Düsseldorf, with an investment volume of some EUR 500 million, and several new apartments in Frankfurt within the Living Lyon project.“The German real estate market offers the security that is requested by investors from all over the world. In order to avoid the purchase of coincidentally available products, Catella produces its own investment vehicles,” says Klaus Franken.

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Catella Wohnen Europa fund acquires ten German portfolio properties for EUR 118 million

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 aprile 2017

Xavier JongenThe acquired portfolio has properties in the metropolitan regions of Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Frankfurt, as well as in Göttingen and Reutlingen. The portfolio’s diversified nature across primary cities, university cities and major regional centres is the reason for its attractiveness. “This acquisition is very important, because it increases the assets under management of Catella Wohnen Europa fund to approximately EUR 450 million after only one year. It also gives the fund a large proportion of portfolio properties in Germany and this will help stabilise the fund’s performance and provide room for further international expansion,” says Xavier Jongen, head of Catella’s initiative in residential property funds.Occupancy across all properties stands at 99%, reflecting the portfolio’s positive aspects. The ten properties consists of 1,041 residential and 14 commercial units, comprising in total more than 62,000 m². All the buildings in the portfolio are in good to very good condition.“We have acquired an established portfolio with a stable cash return in one of the most attractive property segments. By making more than EUR 100 million available for this project, our investors have shown immense trust in our work,” explains Markus Wiegleb, portfolio manager at Catella. (photo: Xavier Jongen)

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Cities throughout France, Germany and Belgium decline in rankings owing to heightened security threats

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 aprile 2017

BruxellesBruxelles. Cities in Belgium, Germany and France have all declined in the global rankings this year. Berlin has fallen by two positions to 22nd, Brussels has dropped by three places to 25th, and Paris is down four places to 36th. Marseille is the European city with the most significant decline in the global rankings this year, falling by eight places to 74th position.“Terrorist attacks seen in Western Europe in late 2015 and throughout 2016 have elevated the Socio-political tensions scoring for cities in Belgium, Germany and France this year. This higher scoring reflects the greater threat currently posed to assignees in these locations,” said Ashman.Other Swiss and Dutch cities continue to dominate the global top 10 rankings, with The Hague in third, Geneva in fourth and Basel in sixth; Amsterdam and Eindhoven occupy joint seventh place.(font: ECA International)

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Catella: Germany’s hidden champions offer investment potential

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 5 ottobre 2016

Thomas BeyerleIn times of uninterrupted compression of returns, Investors are forced to reconsider their risk profile. Most commonly, this means investing in second and, occasionally, third-tier locations. But there is another geographical level that is largely yet to be analysed in terms of its relevance for the real estate industry, let alone being addressed by investors. This is where the Hidden Champions can be found. In terms of investment diversification, the locations of the 250 Hidden Champions analysed by Catella offer a promising outlook with higher yield expectations.While second-tier locations continue to emerge as a popular investment option, the so-called German Mittelstand and its properties remain mostly unseen. To date, investors have barely moved into unknown regional domains or beyond the traditional nomenclature. This is one of the findings of the new Catella Market Tracker: “Uncovering hidden success – the unheralded locations beyond prime?” The German Mittelstand is investing here with impressive success. The Mittelstand consists of a large number of highly specialised small and medium-sized enterprises in supposedly peripheral locations which are leaders in their respective industries.Catella has recorded and mapped 250 German Hidden Champions. This makes it possible to identify the hotspots within and outside the conurbations in western and, in particular, south-western Germany that boast substantial positive value creation at the level of the local economy in the areas of retail, consumer goods and residential real estate.Many of the Hidden Champions can still be found in their historical locations, meaning that they own a lot of the buildings they occupy. Although most Hidden Champions are clustered around the major cities in the conurbations, very few actually have their production facilities and administrative offices there. “The typical Hidden Champion is based in a small or medium-sized city or in the surrounding area, with a commercial property market volume that is usually well under a million square metres, meaning that it can serve as an indicator of local economic activity,” says Dr. Thomas Beyerle, Head of Group Research at Catella. Bottom line: a real estate investment with such stable long-term conditions pays off. (photo: )

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TTIP and German opinion’s legitimate fears

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 8 gennaio 2016

berlinoGermany is one of the member states in which public opinion is the most sceptical towards the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) negotiations launched over two and a half years ago. Regulatory cooperation and the question of investor-state dispute settlement are notable areas of public worry.This synthesis written by Elvire Fabry, senior research fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute, takes the principal elements of the debate organised in the German capital on 28 September 2015 by our office in Germany, the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin, in order to shed light on the objectives pursued by the EU, the methods used and the conditions for democratic control.
The debate was attended in particular by Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Minister for EconomicAffairs and Energy, Matthias Fekl, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, and PascalLamy, the former Director-General of the WTO and current President Emeritus of the Jacques DelorsInstitute, along with representatives of the European Commission and Parliament and experts in trade policy, international public law and investment. Photo: german meeting)

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