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Germany’s rising Green Party echoes many U.S. policies. That could rattle pipeline plans from Russia. From “World”




The nearly completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline is backed by Angela Merkel, but her time as leader ends later this year.







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Germany’s move to EVs to affect thousands of workers, new study says From “International: Top News And Analysis”



The underbody of an ID.3. electric vehicle being worked on at a Volkswagen facility in Dresden, Germany, on January 29, 2021.Matthias Rietschel | picture alliance | Getty ImagesThe shift to electric vehicles could affect thousands of workers in Germany over the coming years, the Munich-based Ifo Institute said Thursday.The Ifo’s study, which was undertaken on behalf of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, illustrates some of the potential challenges ahead as governments attempt to phase out diesel and gasoline vehicles in favor of low and zero emission ones. In a statement issued alongside the report’s release, the research institution said an estimated 75,000 production workers in Germany’s autos sector would retire by the middle of this decade.”But if by 2025 the production of cars powered by combustion engines declines to the extent foreseen under current emissions regulations, then the switch to electric motors will affect at least 178,000 employees,” it added.This cohort, Ifo explained, would consist of “workers who manufacture product groups that depend directly or indirectly on the combustion engine, with 137,000 of them employed directly by the automotive industry.”Ifo President Clemens Fuest described the “transition to electromobility” as “a major challenge, especially for automotive suppliers, where medium-sized companies are dominant.””It’s important to maintain highly skilled jobs in the remaining production of combustion engines and in electric vehicles without putting the brakes on structural change,” he said.A significant transition does indeed appear to be on the horizon. Germany’s federal government wants 7 to 10 million electric vehicles to be registered in the country by the end of this decade. In January Reuters, citing Germany’s road-traffic regulator, said battery-electric vehicle sales were over 194,000 in 2020, a three-fold rise.Looking at the bigger picture, the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, wants at least 30 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2030 as part of its “Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.”According to the International Energy Agency, roughly 3 million new electric cars were registered last year, a record amount and a 41% rise compared to 2019.Oliver Falck, who is director of the Ifo Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies, sought to emphasize the systemic shift that was already taking place. “Developments in production figures are already showing us that very different parts are needed for electric cars than for combustion engines,” he said, noting that “this transformation has yet to manifest to the same degree in headcount.” “The transformation that can be expected in headcount won’t be fully cushioned by the retirement of the baby boomers,” he went on to explain. “Since companies are already aware of this gap, they have the opportunity to take appropriate measures in good time, such as retraining and further training.” According to Reuters, the Ifo’s survey “did not take into account the potential creation of new jobs in EV manufacturing or battery cell production.”







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Germany’s top court upholds night curfews in COVID-19 protection law From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



BloombergCathie Wood’s Ark Battered by Selloff in Stay-at-Home Darlings(Bloomberg) — The selloff that’s tearing through high-valuation tech shares has battered Cathie Wood’s flagship ETF.The ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund (ARKK) dropped for a seventh straight day Wednesday in its longest slide in nearly two and a half years. After surging roughly 150% in 2020 thanks to a string of prescient bets on Tesla Inc. and stay-at-home tech darlings, the negative stats are starting to add up. ARKK is down more than 10% for the year and investors are piling into protection against more losses. Put volume hit 190,000 Tuesday, the most in six weeks and the fourth-most on record.The slide comes with many of the fund’s top holdings caught up in a rotation out of highly-valued tech companies. Investors have turned on the likes of Zoom Video Communications Inc., Roku Inc. and Teladoc Health Inc. — all top 10 holdings in ARKK. Once coveted for the promise of strong future profit growth, the specter of inflation now makes stretched valuations harder to justify after robust earnings from tech giants failed to revive investor interest.“Investors got a visceral reminder last week that the tech titans have not only surging earnings, but also reasonable valuations,” said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners. “The relative attractiveness of the big five tech stocks might be making hyper growth stocks, such as those in ARKK, look even more expensive, as we see sentiment fade.”ARKK has faced five straight days of outflows totaling almost $770 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In April, the $21 billion fund saw its first monthly net outflow since October 2019. Ark Investment Management didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.“This thing was a hot hot, go go momentum play,” said Mike Zigmont, head of research and trading at Harvest Volatility Management. “It’s not like everyone is in the poor house all of a sudden,” he added. But “you have a lot of shareholders who don’t think it’s as wonderful as the prior generations, and that’s going to represent a sentiment shift.”The speculative corners of the market kept bleeding on Wednesday, with newly minted shares and unprofitable technology firms slumping. A seven-day selling streak has driven the Renaissance IPO ETF below its March trough, reaching the lowest level since November.Meanwhile, a basket of unprofitable tech firms suffered a similar stretch of losses. After a 2.5% slump Wednesday, the fund has extended a decline from its February peak to 31%.The carnage contrasts with the buoyancy in the broader market, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced to a record Wednesday while the S&P 500 hovered near an all-time high.“My real fear, though, is that the high growth areas represented by the Ark funds and many similar funds are in danger of breaking down and potentially creating waterfall-type declines,” said Andrew Adams at Saut Strategy. “It’s not going to be a great look if these more speculative areas collectively start to break down beneath them.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.







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Merkel says Germany has ‘eternal responsibility’ for Nazi crimes; In a virtual speech, Angela Merkel has warned that the memory of the crimes committed by the Nazis in Europe must be kept alive. “This is Germany’s eternal responsibility,” she said : worldnews From “World News”



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EU-China investment deal ‘very important,’ Germany’s Merkel says as Brussels pauses ratification efforts over sanctions fallout From “RT World News”



A huge investment agreement between the EU and China is “important,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said, a day after a senior European Commission figure stated that the bloc had suspended ratification efforts amid soured relations.

“Despite all the difficulties that will surely arise with the ratification, it is a very important undertaking, because it gives us more reciprocity in market access,” Merkel said in a speech on Wednesday.Addressing her conservative CDU/CSU political alliance, she said the deal was “mutually beneficial,” but added that it was important to tackle the “the whole range of issues” with China, including its human rights record.On Tuesday, Valdis Dombrovskis, the executive vice-president of the European Commission, told the AFP news agency the EU had halted efforts to ratify the comprehensive agreement on investment, which allows European companies greater access to the Chinese market.

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EU suspends efforts to ratify investment deal with China amid ongoing sanctions row, Commission VP tells AFP

Dombrovskis said EU-Chinese relations were “not conducive” to the deal’s ratification after the bloc slapped sanctions on Beijing over alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.Beijing has repeatedly denied accusations that Uighur Muslims are subjected to forced labor in Xinjiang, and responded to the bloc’s move with its own counter-sanctions against EU officials.As well as her comments about the China deal, Merkel also said she would like to see a trade agreement struck between the EU and its “most important ally,” the US.The Chancellor said such a deal would “make a lot of sense,” and could be similar to the EU’s existing trade agreement with Canada.Like this story? Share it with a friend!







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Germany’s Oktoberfest canceled once again due to Covid-19 — RT World News From “RT World News”



The world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest, held annually in Munich, has been canceled for a second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bavarian authorities have announced.

After not being held in 2020, the popular festival was expected to make a comeback this September. But beer lovers will have to wait another year, as the epidemiological situation in Germany, where 3.4 million have been infected and more than 83,000 have died due to Covid-19, is not yet under control. “Imagine if there was a new wave and it then became a super-spreader event. The brand would be damaged forever – and we don’t want that,” Bavarian State Premier Markus Soeder said, as he announced the cancelation of Oktoberfest 2021.Social distancing, masks, and other anti-coronavirus measures would have been “practically impossible to implement” at the event, which usually draws some six million attendees from right across the globe, Soeder pointed out.And Oktoberfest is all about bonding, not social distancing, with people gathering in vast marquees and sitting at long communal tables to swig beer, munch on sausages, and listen to live folk music.

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When the festival was last staged, in 2019, it swelled the coffers of the Bavarian economy  by €1.23 billion ($1.5 billion). However, Oktoberfest boss Clemens Baumgärtner called the decision to cancel this year’s event “completely correct”. Maintaining its reputation as “a high-quality, safe festival” was more important, he insisted.It’s not the first time in Oktoberfest’s 200-year history that the organizers have been forced to cancel it due to an epidemic. A cholera outbreak put paid to plans in 1854 and 1873, while World War II saw it mothballed for several years.

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An alternative Oktoberfest is expected to be staged in Dubai this year, but the Munich organizers have made it clear that they had nothing to do with that event. Last week, Baumgärtner blasted the holding of the breakaway festival as “absolutely absurd” and vowed to explore all legal options “to protect Munich’s Oktoberfest.”Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!







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Germany’s Merkel presses China for human rights dialogue From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed China’s prime minister Wednesday for broader discussions on human rights issues, telling him that the relationship between their countries “means that we can address difficult issues and put everything on the table.”The comments came after Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang led broad-ranging governmental consultations on issues like the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, economic cooperation and other topics. The talks were held virtually due to the pandemic.According to remarks released by her office, Merkel brought up Germany’s criticism of China’s human rights record, saying in her address to the group, “There are differences of opinion here, especially when we think of the situation in Hong Kong, for example.”“We have, so far, always managed to address these issues well; I’d hope that we can get the human rights dialogue going again as soon as possible,” Merkel said.The German leader, who does not plan to run for reelection this year, added that her wish was for “in-depth” talks that would also include the countries’ justice ministers.







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Ineffective & disproportionate? Germany’s new lockdown law sparks flurry of Constitutional Court complaints, including by MPs — RT World News From “RT World News”



Germany’s new law granting Berlin sweeping powers when it comes to imposing harsh Covid-19 restrictions has sparked a wave of indignation and prompted dozens of complaints filed with the Constitutional Court.

A total of 65 complaints have been filed against the so-called Infection Protection Act to date, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe confirmed to the German media. A court spokesman also admitted that the real number of lawsuits could be higher since new ones are filed “all the time” and the court is not always able to process them in time.Some complainants also filed urgent motions asking the court to suspend the law, which came into force just two days ago, until a final decision is made. Some suits were directed against the entire package of measures envisaged by the new law, while others focused on specific restrictions like the nighttime curfew that many Germans apparently see as unconstitutional.

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Most claims were reportedly filed by individual complainants, including several German MPs. One of them is Florian Post, a member of the Social Democratic Party – a junior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government coalition. Others include a Green MP, Canan Bayram, and a member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, whose identity was not revealed.The Liberal Free Democrats also lodged a complaint against the law with the Constitutional Court on Monday afternoon. The usually business-friendly party argued that the measures imposed by the law, such as the curfew and “other encroachments on fundamental rights,” are disproportionate and sometimes ineffective.It is not known when the court will pass its judgement on the issue. It is also unclear whether the claimants should first reach out to some lower-ranking courts before filing the lawsuits directly in Karlsruhe.

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Back into quarantine? German govt plans new harsh Covid-19 restrictions in draft law – reports

The controversial law imposes binding restrictions on all German states and even individual communities as soon as they exceed a seven-day average infection rate of 100 cases per 100,000 people. The rules once again put severe limitations on private and public gatherings, as well as demanding that Germans stay home between 10pm and 5am, with exceptions for some emergency cases and professional activities. Non-essential shops would have to limit their number of customers or close entirely, depending on the situation, while people would also be required to work from home whenever possible.It was passed by the Bundestag on April 21 following a heated debate despite vehement criticism from the opposition, and was approved by the Bundesrat later the same week. The law eventually came into force last Saturday.

The development also sparked negative public reaction as thousands took to Berlin’s streets just as the MPs were debating the legislation. The rally ended in scuffles with police and some 150 arrests.Currently, 15 out of 16 German states have to apply the restrictions since they are all above the 100 per 100,000 people infection rate threshold. The Constitutional Court gave no indication that it would suspend the law pending the outcome of the lawsuits.Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!







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