The Berlin update: 23rd February 2013

by Ares Kalandides

My pick of the news every Saturday (I had to skip last week because I was in Manchester for a conference). Today with the following:

1. Germany in the top 5 of weapon exporters in the world

2. Serious decline of the German economy in the last quarter of 2012

3. Self-emloyed in Germany can rarely make ends meet

4. Divided Europe: Car Industry Winners and Losers Drift Apart

5. Last Shift in the Shaft: Coal Companies Refuse to Pay Mining Victims

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1. Germany in the top 5 of weapon exporters in the world

Germany holds the fifth worldwide position in the expor of arms with an order volume of 1.21 Billion € (in 1990 prices) for the year 2011. Main players are Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann, EADS-Cassidian, Rheinmetall, HDW, Lürssen-Werft. Greece is Germany client number 1, though weapon imports dropped drastically last year. To balance out the lack of demand in Europe Germany is pushing for more weapon exports to third countries.

Der Freitag, 13th February 2013

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2. Serious decline of the German economy in the last quarter of 2012

Development of German GDP in % compared to the same quarter of previous year (above) and the previous year (below)

Development of German GDP in % compared to the same quarter of the previous year (above) and the previous year (below). http://www.spiegel.de/flash/flash-21368.html

The German industry is directly affected by the European crisis. In the last quarter of 2012 GDP decreased by 0.6%, for the first time in the year. Nevertheless throughout the whole year there was a total increase of 0.7%. This has serious consequences for economic growth in the Eurozone which decrease by 0.5% in 2012  after an increase of 1.4% in 2011.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 14th February 2013

German statistics, 14th February 2013

Eurostat, 14th February 2013

Der Spiegel, 25th January 2013

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3. Self-emloyed in Germany can rarely make ends meet

The number of self-employed people in Germany has been increasing constantly in the past decade, a rise that is also reflected in the sinking unemployment figures. Between 2000 and 2011 the rise was of 40%.  57% of all entrepreneurs have no employees. The average wages of self employed are approximately 13 €/hour, but more and more need to apply for state aid.

Süddeutsche, 13th February 2013

DIW

Frankfurter Rundschau, 13th February 2013

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4. Divided Europe: Car Industry Winners and Losers Drift Apart, Der Spiegel 13th February 2013

Read the whole story here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/european-car-industry-winners-and-losers-drift-further-apart-a-882694.html

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5. Last Shift in the Shaft: Coal Companies Refuse to Pay Mining Victims, Der Spiegel 20th February 2013

Dirk Hoppe/ Netzhaut/ DER SPIEGEL

Dirk Hoppe/ Netzhaut/ DER SPIEGEL

“After two centuries of coal mining in Germany companies are pulling out of the industrial Ruhr region, leaving millions of dollars worth of damage in their wake. Though companies used to compensate the victims of mining operations, some are now resorting to dubious tactics to escape responsibility.”

Read the full story here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/victims-of-rag-mining-operations-in-ruhr-region-do-not-get-compensation-a-884292.html

About Ares

Ares Kalandides holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the National Technical University of Athens. He is the founder and CEO of Inpolis, an international consultancy based in Berlin, Germany and has implement several projects around the world. Ares teaches Urban Economics at the Technical University in Berlin and Metropolitan Studies at NYU Berlin.
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