Song of the swan in Germany
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The American magazine "Businessweek" devotes a great history of coverage to the German economy. Their judgment is devastating, the future appears in dark colors. The verdict on Angela Merkel was surprised.
isIt is not often that Germany is the hot topic in English-language magazines. However, if they put the country on the front page, then why they recognized a broad and long-term trend, usually rightly so – for better or for worse.
Exemplary was the cover of the British "Economist", which he recognized in August 2005 "the surprising economy of Germany". And indeed, the German economy surprised many in the following years, because there followed a golden era with high growth and steadily declining unemployment figures.
On Friday, Germany will appear again on the title of a major business magazine in English – but this time the content is completely different. The "fragile future of Germany" was published in the latest issue of "Businessweek", the New York business newspaper, for which over 2,000 journalists work in over 70 countries. And in reality, Germany's economy is not only described as fragile. It's more like a swan song.
"Today's Germany feels like it was experiencing the last days of an era," reads the editorial. C is an atmosphere of imminent change that no one seems prepared for. The country remains prosperous and politically stable. "But one cannot help but think that the Germans are satisfied with themselves, neglecting the threats to the foundations of their prosperity."
"Businessweek" sees the technological revolution in the automotive market as crucial for Germany's future. Because this means the end of the internal combustion engine, and German manufacturers were too slow in the development of electric cars. "This raises doubts about how long Germany can maintain its dominance on the world market for luxury cars, given the competition from China and other countries."
Equally fragile: the sclerotic banking sector. The politically orchestrated merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank will not save both, say the authors. But Germany needed a large international bank to finance German companies on the world stage.
As the world's third largest exporter, the German economy is already more exposed to the headwinds of other global trade wars. And Germany is increasingly isolated in the world, as more and more G-20 states – from the United States to Italy to Brazil – the populists take power and implement nationalist programs.
"The powerful middle class" is Germany's hope
All this happens in times of the Chancellor's twilight. "The world will soon lose one of its strongest leaders," says Angela Merkel. He led the country through global crises, from the financial crisis to the collapse of Greece to the influx of refugees.
Not only did it keep the German economic machine in operation, but it also kept the continent stable. On the other hand, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, his likely successor, sees the authors as a whiteboard and light politics.
After all, "Businessweek" still sees a glimmer of hope: in the legions of small and medium-sized enterprises, the "Mighty Mittelstand", as they say. These powerful companies are still innovative and highly specialized in their respective niches. Germany is the third automated country and the energy transition has made it a technology center for renewable energy.
The question remains if this is sufficient to compensate for the other problems.
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