"Crises Shift Forces"
China's importance for Germany's economy will most likely increase through the Covid-19 pandemic.
BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - Germany will most likely have to rely on China to limit the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to estimates by two flagship sectors of German industry - the automotive and mechanical engineering branches. The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) expects dramatic losses particularly in Europe and North America while expecting growth of business in China, where the situation "seems to become stabilized." Representatives of the automotive industry express similar views. VW, for example, is expecting to catch up in the People's Republic and not lag too far behind its original annual plans, whereas experts are expecting billions in losses on the US automotive market. "Crises shift forces" business circles predict regarding the uneven development in China and the USA. Berlin also depends on Beijing for the procurement of medical protective equipment. The largest supply so far is expected to arrive in Leipzig today - carried out by the German military. Read more
The Fear of the Crash
Tensions between northern and southern Eurozone countries are mounting in the dispute over corona bonds ahead of today's EU summit.
BERLIN/ROME (Own report) - In the run-up to today's video conference between the EU heads of states and governments, tensions are mounting between the Eurozone's northern center and southern periphery. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte continues to insist on common bonds ("Corona bonds") - still rejected by Germany - while opposing ESM loans, despite reassuring statements from Brussels. "We have not forgotten," he said "that the Greeks [in the euro crises] were forced to make unacceptable sacrifices in order to receive loans." Whereas some of the top officials are willing to make certain concessions on the Corona bonds, to secure the Eurozone's survival, the first fissures are appearing among southern Europe's proponents of common bonds, because of a "fear of upsetting the Germans too much." US observers expect Berlin to assert itself once again, thus further consolidating its economic and political preponderance within the EU. Read more
The Suspicion Campaign
Berlin joins US allegations against China on the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is joining the US campaign of allegations against China regarding the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Last weekend, US President Donald Trump warned the People's Republic that it should face consequences if it was "knowingly responsible" for the spread of the pandemic. Washington is simultaneously spreading deliberate rumors that the virus could have originated in a Chinese laboratory. Whereas, scientists vehemently refute the allegations, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared, he "does not want to exclude" that the WHO will have to deal with these issues. On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Beijing to show "transparency" on the issue. Senior German military officials have recently been demanding that the EU adopt "a joint political-strategic response" to China's growing strength, because in the Corona crisis, Beijing is gaining considerable influence. According to a recent poll, more than half of the Italian population sees China as a "friend," while nearly half see Germany as an "enemy." Read more
Battle of Narratives
German media intensify China-bashing and demand compensation for the Covid-19 pandemic.
BERLIN (Own report) - In view of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the German media are stepping up their blame on China by moving to openly ask for compensation. The People's Republic "has caused the pandemic", this is what the mainstream media repeatedly say. And the Springer press insists on "compensation" by headlining "What China already owes us". The agitation began when it became apparent that the People's Republic of China was able to overcome the crisis more lightly than the Western powers and their global rise are likely to continue, while the transatlantic states are in danger of being thrown back by their totally inadequate preparation for the pandemic. The claims are accompanied by a massive anti-Chinese sentiment; just to make an example, it is currently stated that Peking follows a "strategy of unrestricted warfare", already formulated by the Chinese military a good two decades ago. The statement is not correct, but it is similar to claims based on lies used against Russia for years. Read more
The Powers and the Pandemic
Experts: The corona crisis could accelerate the economic and political decline of Germany and the West.
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) - The corona crisis could accelerate Germany and the western powers' economic and political decline, according to recent economic projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and analyses by US foreign policy experts. As the US magazine Foreign Policy writes, Trump’s handling of the crisis has been an "embarrassing debacle" that tarnished the United States’ reputation as a country "that knows how to do things effectively." Other states are more willing to orient themselves on countries which are "past the peak of infection," such as China, concludes the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. The EU has also failed in the crisis. According to the IMF, China will economically suffer less under the pandemic than western countries: its economic performance will bypass that of the eurozone quicker than expected and will approach that of the United States. In the West, this emerging shift in power is being accompanied by aggressive anti-Chinese propaganda. Read more
Germany First (III)
Pressure increased on Berlin on question of "coronabonds" - even from within German establishment. Implementation could secure German EU profits.
BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - At the euro finance minister's video conference the German government blocked the introduction of "coronabonds," in spite of massive pressure from other EU nations and recently even from within Germany. Whereas mainly Italy, Spain and France had insisted that this measure be taken, voices are now being raised from within the German establishment warning that the German government should stop blocking its implementation. The reason, as leading Green Party politicians are explaining, is that should Italy and Spain suffer economic collapse, Germany's export industry would be seriously damaged by the loss of these important markets, and - should German assistance be refused - both countries could turn to China. This must be prevented. The "coronabonds" will cost Germany, however, specialists estimated years ago that the costs would be in the lower double-digit billions, while Germany is simultaneously reaping triple-digit billions in profits - annually. Read more
Germany First (II)
Voices in Berlin warn that the EU could disintegrate and call for concessions on "corona bonds". The EU provides Berlin with trillions of euros in profits.
BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - Establishment voices in Berlin warn that the EU could disintegrate in the corona crisis and call for economic concessions to Italy and Spain. Both countries would "never forget in a hundred years, if Europe and we, in particular, would forsake them now," former foreign ministers Joseph Fischer and Sigmar Gabriel wrote in an appeal published yesterday. This should not happen because it would endanger the EU. But "our country" is the Union's "biggest economic and financial winner." Studies show, in fact, that with €86 billion annually, Germany profits more from the EU's single market than any other EU member. Since its introduction up until 2017, the single currency has provided Germany nearly €1.9 trillion, whereas it has cost France €3.6 and Italy even €4.3 trillion. Fischer and Gabriel are pushing for an urgent EU aid program to dampen the rapidly growing EU criticism in Rome and Madrid. According to a recent opinion poll, 67 percent of Italy's population thinks that the EU harms their interests. Read more