German Of The Day: Abschwung

That means downturn.

Downturn

German industry hit by biggest downturn since 2009 – Output falls 5.3% in year to October, weighing on eurozone growth outlook.

Germany’s sprawling industrial sector is suffering its steepest downturn for a decade, underlining how the engine of the eurozone’s biggest economy is sputtering.

In der deutschen Industrie geht der Abschwung mit einem schwachen Start ins vierte Quartal weiter. Im Oktober haben die Betriebe ihre Gesamtproduktion erneut deutlich zurückgefahren.

 

A Positive Development

But nowhere near what the Germans pledged to do long, long ago.

NATO

Germany to match US contribution to NATO budget – From 2021, Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget to be in line with what the US pays. NATO officials hope the move will diffuse tensions surrounding the cost of maintaining the military alliance.

Gee. I wonder what – or who? – finally got the Germans to act?

Starting in 2021, the share of the NATO budget covered by Germany will increase from 14.8% to 16.35%, while the share covered by the US will decrease from 22.1% to 16.35%…

NATO officials hope the new agreement will alleviate some of the tension around the topic of NATO financing. US President Donald Trump has complained that the US covers more than its fair share of the costs for the alliance. He has demanded that other member states make good on their pledges to increase their NATO contribution to 2% of GDP by 2024 (pledged nearly twenty years ago), a goal that Germany will not reach.

Merkel on Wednesday vowed to reach the 2% mark by the “early 2030s.”

No Difference Between China And The USA

Right? Not in Germany there isn’t.

China

To understand any German position on any international theme or issue you must understand that US-Amerika is somehow, in some way, in some form, a, if not the, negative factor in it. Once you understand and accept this, everything German politicians and diplomats say starts making sense. Take China and 5G for instance. Please.

The US ambassador to Berlin has sharply criticised German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier for suggesting a parallel between Chinese and US spying.

The row flared up over Germany’s decision not to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from participation in the German 5G mobile phone network…

Meanwhile, a new opinion poll suggests a wide gap between the views of Americans and Germans on US-German relations.

Three-quarters of Americans surveyed were positive. But nearly two-thirds of Germans felt relations were bad, the Pew Research Center/Körber-Stiftung poll found.

“There is no moral equivalency between China and the United States and anyone suggesting it ignores history.”

German Of The Day: Späti

That means the late-night stores of Berlin. And we should have smelled this rat coming long ago.

Späti

How could these popular local convenience stores be allowed to continue running without being inconvenienced by the Berlin city government? They were allowed to open when they saw fit, depending entirely on supply and demand. You know, like in capitalism? Spätis are one of the few things that actually work in this town, by the way. Obviously, somebody had to step in here. Spätis are crying out for government regulation – for our own good.

Since a May ruling by the Administrative Court of Berlin, city authorities have fastidiously targeted family-run convenience stores such as Abels’ if they’re open on Sundays. The crackdown is part of a broader debate that’s erupting over the future of these stores — known as Spätis — that have over the decades emerged as cultural symbols of Berlin.

“Spätis are to Berlin like cafés are to Paris. It’s where all forms of life come together.”

We’ll Always Have Paris

Sometimes relationships just don’t make sense anymore.

Wind

People and renewable forms of energy grow apart and become, you know, different people. Then it’s time to move on. It’s tragic, I know. It’s heartbreaking. But that’s the way the German wind turbine crumbles.

German campaigners fall out of love with wind power – Growing opposition and lack of land spark collapse in construction of new turbines.

Der Ausbau der Windenergie ist ins Stocken geraten. Droht der Branche das gleiche Schicksal wie der Solarindustrie?

Speaking Of The German Automobile Industry

And German industry in general. They couldn’t laugh off Tesla. Now the punches are coming in hot and heavy.

DaimlerAuto

German Industrial Job Losses Top 80,000 With Daimler Cuts – Germany’s economy may have narrowly avoided a recession, but the pressure on the country’s industry shows no sign of abating.

Daimler AG said this week it will shed 10% of management positions at its Mercedes unit, lifting the tally of job cuts announced this year across Germany’s manufacturing sector to more than 80,000, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Companies from Volkswagen AG to Siemens AG are letting workers go as Germany’s powerful automotive industry struggles with a shift toward electrification and self-driving cars, and makers of machinery and robots are hit by slower exports and trade disputes. Makers of well-known German products such as Meissen porcelain and WMF kitchenware are also trimming their workforce.

Tesla Must Fail

Right? At least that’s what I’ve been reading in the German media for many years now.

Musk

But some things you just can’t ignore away. And times change, or something. Looks to me like the German automobile industry just ain’t what she used to be.

Elon Musk’s German Factory Started With Love Letter From Berlin – Musk is taking his fight for the future of transport into the heartland of the combustion engine, where the established players long laughed off Tesla as an upstart on feeble financial footing that couldn’t compete with their rich engineering heritage. But Musk has captured the imagination of the think-different consumer, putting pressure on the Germans to respond.

“We definitely need to move faster than the airport.”

Ausland

Foreign countries. Name about any country you want.

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Deutschland

Because somebody has to admire them.

In the first ten months of this year the German federal government has given its OK to the sale of arms valued at 7.42 billion euros, nearing an all-time record.

Die Welt verlangt nach deutschen Waffen: Die Bundesregierung hat in den ersten zehn Monaten des laufenden Jahres Rüstungsexporte im Wert von 7,42 Milliarden Euro genehmigt. Die Summe erreicht damit schon fast das Ausmaß des bisherigen Rekordjahres 2015, als die Große Koalition Ausfuhren von Waffen und anderen Rüstungsgütern für 7,86 Milliarden Euro freigab.

German Of The Day: Disneyfizierung

That means Disneyfication.

Checkpoint

Just stop by Checkpoint Charlie sometime and see for yourself.

Authorities in Germany’s capital Berlin have banned local performers from wearing US army uniforms at Checkpoint Charlie, the iconic Cold War crossing between the east and west of the city.

They said the actors exploited tourists by demanding money for photos at the attraction…

People impersonating US soldiers have been at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly 20 years, working in rotation to pose with tourists.

But many Berliners are unhappy about the “Disneyfication” of the site, where fake Soviet Red Army fur hats, gas masks and pieces of the Berlin Wall can be found for sale.

Ever Had A Windmill Shoved Down Your Throat?

How about thousands of them? And then you’re allowed to subsidize them all?

Windmill

You’d hat them too.

Germany’s Giant Windmills Are Wildly Unpopular – Local politics are a bigger problem for renewable energy growth than competition from fossil fuels.

Despite their surging popularity in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the Greens did badly in last Sunday’s election in the German state of Thuringia, and the nationalists from the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) did very well. An important reason is that the Greens support wind energy and the AfD militates against wind turbines. The giant windmills have grown so unpopular in neighboring communities that their construction in Germany has all but ground to a halt.

There are nearly 30,000 wind turbines in Germany, more than anywhere else in Europe. Only China and the U.S., both much bigger countries, have more. Germany gets 23.5% of its energy from wind this year; it’s the biggest source of renewable energy for the country. But in the first half of 2019, only 35 wind turbines were added — an 82% drop compared with the first six months of 2018. Last year was bad, too: Just 743 turbines were added, compared with 1,792 in 2017.