Peter Altmaier just does not have it easy. Trade associations accuse the minister of neglecting the German economy and especially the middle class. The CDU politician had been missing at numerous EU Council of Ministers meetings. All that Altmaier does not want to let sit on itself – and defends itself.
"If you go to Brussels, if you inquire there, then everyone will confirm that this Minister of Economic Affairs is present in Brussels and doing his job well there," said Altmaier the Deutschlandfunk. He also participated in numerous informal ministerial meetings in Brussels, representing German interests.
There is also discontent about the results of Altmaier's economic policy. With an industrial strategy, he wants to respond to the big competition from China. But these, so the charge, prefer a few large corporations and neglect many.
Neugebauer calls for "enabling strategy"
Among the critics of the politician is now also Reimund Neugebauer. The president of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft told the Handelsblatt: "Competitiveness can be strengthened by size, but the healthier competitiveness is the product's originality, highest productivity and cost efficiency even in high-wage countries – as well as sustainability in the scientific fore." Since Germany is well placed.
Instead of a new industrial strategy, the boss of nearly 27,000 researchers calls for a "strategy of empowerment". Politics must finally create framework conditions that facilitate innovation and added value and compensate disadvantages vis-à-vis other regions of the world. "For companies to be competitive by originality and creativity, the state should not intervene to control it."
Neugebauer sees no cause for concern given China's rapid rise in innovation. That 1.4 billion people at some point bring much more intellectual products and services to the market, was normal. "But we are better at originality." Intellectual performance depends on values such as freedom, communication, motivation – "and with this system we are many times superior to the Chinese".