Updated: Jan 25
Tech proposals: The German government will temporarily take stakes in high-tech companies to stop them being sold to investors in non-EU countries, amid worries that China is scooping up Germany’s ‘technology jewels’. The “national fallback option”, proposed by the Economy Ministry, is a climbdown from an earlier idea for a state investment fund that would step in to pre-empt foreign takeovers of German companies. Elsewhere: German politician Ursula von der Leyen officially takes up her role as the President of the European Commission on 1st December (yes, that’s today), succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker. More here (German) and here (English) Audi are axing 9,500 jobs in order to save for a massive £3bn investment in electric cars. Mercedes Benz are also cutting 10,000 jobs worldwide. Gideon Rachman wrote on Franco-German tensions, which he says are caused in large part due to Brexit. The FT recently featured a podcast on Germany’s foreign policy. The BBC World Business Report, similarly, released a podcast focussed on Germany’s economic future. Christopher Schuetze wrote a highly interesting piece in the New York Times about Konnopke’s, a currywurst business that opened in east Berlin in 1930. Workers at six Amazon distribution centres in Germany staged a Black Friday walkout in a dispute over pay and conditions.