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Germany’s economy: Should we be worried?

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We learned that industrial production in February – excluding energy and construction – had fallen. The previous day, new official data showed that manufacturing orders also declined in the same month. At the start of the week, another survey of the same sector reported new orders and export sales “falling at rates not seen since the global financial crisis”. We ... Read More »

German lawmakers ready to block public cash for Deutsche-Commerzbank

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BERLIN: Lawmakers are warning Germany’s finance minister that they will block any attempt to invest public money into a merged Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, a deal which could require up to 10 billion euros ($11.2 billion) of fresh capital. They intend to deliver this message at a closed-door meeting next week with Olaf Scholz, although it is unclear whether the ... Read More »

Fresenius Medical Care to pay $231 million to resolve criminal, civil foreign bribery charges

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Germany-based dialysis clinic operator Fresenius Medical Care AG will pay about $231 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company paid bribes to public health and government officials in several countries to win or retain business, the U.S. Justice Department said. As part of the settlement, the company admitted that it doled out bribes to officials in Angola ... Read More »

German politicians split over bankrolling Deutsche Bank merger


BERLIN: A political rift has emerged in Berlin over whether Germany should put its financial muscle behind a merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, politicians and officials said, complicating a bid to create Europe’s third-largest bank and fund it. Germany’s two top banks have struggled to recover since the financial crisis and government officials, led by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, ... Read More »

Germany’s SPD wants to extend arms export halt to Saudi

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BERLIN: Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) want to extend a freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia imposed after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, party sources said, setting the stage for a row with their conservative coalition partners. Under pressure from European allies, many of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives want to end the ban to avoid hurting Germany’s commercial ... Read More »

Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank to Hold Talks on Merger

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BERLIN: Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, and domestic rival Commerzbank have decided to open talks on a possible merger, the lenders said in an announcement that followed months of speculation about such a combination. Commerzbank said in a one-sentence statement that the banks “have agreed today to start discussions with an open outcome on a potential merger.” Deutsche Bank said ... Read More »

US ‘warns Germany a Huawei deal could hurt intelligence sharing’


The warning came in a recent letter from the US ambassador to Germany seen by the Wall Street Journal. The US has been lobbying its allies to boycott Huawei due to national security risks. The firm has pushed back against claims it poses a security threat including suing the US government. US ambassador Richard Grenell said the US would not ... Read More »

Germany does not want to ban Huawei from 5G networks: minister

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BERLIN: Germany does not want to ban Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies from building its 5G networks, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said, adding that Berlin would tighten security criteria for all vendors instead. Asked on a ZDF television talk show if the government plans to bar Huawei from the upcoming 5G auction due to concerns over the global market ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Guaido urges more sanctions after German expulsion

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BERLIN: Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido urged Europe to tighten financial sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro after it expelled Germany’s ambassador, a magazine quoted him as saying on Thursday. It was the latest flashpoint in a global showdown over Venezuela, with Western nations largely recognizing Guaido as legitimate head of state, but Russia and China still supporting the ... Read More »

Germany to invest €58 billion in electric, autonomous cars


Germany’s car industry association says billions will be spent on electromobility over the next three years to cement the future of the auto sector. Domestic car production is, however, expected to fall this year. Germany’s automotive industry is planning an aggressive investment in electric and autonomous cars, along with digitization, the president of the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) car industry ... Read More »

France calls on Germany to ease arms export rules

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BERLIN: French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said that Germany should ease its strict arms export rules for countries outside the European Union to strengthen the defense industry. France has complained that joint arms manufacturing projects are being stalled by Berlin’s refusal to authorize future arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia, a major buyer. Germany said in November it would ... Read More »

Germany resists pressure to ease Saudi arms export halt

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany, February 20, 2019.   REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN: Germany is sticking to its weapons exports freeze to Saudi Arabia, the government said on Wednesday, resisting pressure to soften its stance after criticism from Britain and defense firms, including Airbus, who argue it is hurting commerce. Germany said in November it would reject future arms export licenses to Riyadh over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It ... Read More »

German halt in Saudi arms sales causing serious problems: Airbus


Germany’s halt in exports to Saudi Arabia is preventing Britain from completing the sale of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes to Riyadh, and has delayed potential sales of other weapons such as the A400M military transport, a top Airbus official said Friday. Germany in November said it would reject future export licenses to Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal ... Read More »

Eight charged in Germany over banana box cocaine smuggling


Prosecutors have charged eight men with involvement in the ring, said to have been one of the biggest of its kind in German history. New Zealand police seize 190kg of cocaine hidden among bananas in country’s largest ever drug bust The men are believed to be part of a wider network still thought to be in operation, which was responsible ... Read More »

France makes Germany sweat before striking deal on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline


Paris has settled on a compromise with Berlin, allowing Germany to remain the key negotiator with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe. The agreement follows the announcement by the French Foreign Ministry on Thursday that it would support the EU’s oversight of new offshore energy pipelines. The move could have derailed the undersea pipeline plans between ... Read More »

France, Germany announce first deals for future warplanes


PARIS: France and Germany on Wednesday announced a 65 million euro ($74 million) contract financed equally by both countries over two years as the first act of the joint program to design a next-generation combat jet system. Dassault Aviation and Airbus will build the system which is expected to be operational from 2040 with a view to replacing over time ... Read More »

Top German conservative hints at slower coal phase-out in nod to party right

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BERLIN: Germany’s phasing out of coal-fired power stations could be delayed beyond 2038 if the deadline creates problems for the security of electricity supply, a senior legislator in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said. The phase-out, proposed last Saturday by a commission tasked with mapping out Germany’s transition to a more environmentally friendly low-carbon economy, drew criticism from some in industry ... Read More »

Germany, France, Britain to launch mechanism for trade with Iran


PARIS/BERLIN: Germany, France and Britain have officially set up a European mechanism to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and circumvent US sanctions, two diplomats said on Thursday. The EU has been preparing the system, in effect a clearing house that avoids monetary transfers in dollars between the EU and Iran for months although it is unlikely to become operational for ... Read More »

German navy to withdraw from EU anti-human smuggling op


Germany is planning to suspend its participation in the EU’s anti-smuggling mission over growing differences between the EU and Italy, local media reported. Military inspector general Eberhard Zorn informed the country’s parliament that the navy would no longer deploy ships in the Mediterranean Sea as part of Operation Sophia as of next month, reported German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung. Italy, which ... Read More »

Germany, China pledge to open markets, deepen financial cooperation


BEIJING: Germany and China signed agreements to strengthen coordination in banking, finance and capital markets, and pledged to further open market access and deepen cooperation to broaden economic ties. The agreements were reached after a two-day visit to Beijing by German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz for talks with Vice Premier Liu He, who is President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser. ... Read More »