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Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Brazil overtakes Germany as 4th biggest car market

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

Brazil this year overtook Germany as the fourth-biggest car market in the world — and foreign investors see huge potential as the Latin American giant becomes increasingly prosperous.

At the end of 2010, a total of 3.45 million vehicles are forecast to have been sold in Brazil, nearly 10 percent more than last year, according to the national automobile manufacturers’ association Anfavea.

That would position Brazil behind China, the United States and Japan in sales of cars and light trucks, and just ahead of Germany.

“This in itself is already big attraction for a growing market, with a low density of vehicles per inhabitant,” Anfavea president Cledorvino Belini told AFP.

File photo of traffic on the Tiete highway, one of the ring roads most prone to traffic-jams in in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

He explained that Brazil, with a population of 192 million, had approximately one vehicle per seven residents, leaving plenty of room for growth.

There are some 30 million vehicles in total in Brazil, and the world’s big car companies expect that fleet to balloon as the country’s economic boom creates more consumers.

Europe and the United States, in contrast, are seen as saturated markets with minimal growth prospects.

Brazil “is a market that should keep growing over coming years, and that is attracting a lot of investment,” said Belini, who is also the head of the Brazilian subsidiary for Italy’s Fiat.

“We have competent workers. We also have all the primary materials for our product,” along with a dynamic economy, controlled inflation and easy credit for car-buyers, he said.

To underline the corporate optimism in Brazil, Fiat last week announced it was building a second factory in the country to the tune of 1.8 billion dollars. That was part of a 5.9-billion-dollar investment plan for Brazil that Fiat is rolling out between 2011 and 2014.

Fiat is intent of keeping its number one status in the Brazilian market, where it accounts for 23.1 percent of sales.

Germany’s Volkswagen is a close second with 22.7 percent, and US group General Motors is in third place with 21.2 percent, according to the national car dealers’ federation.

In terms of manufacturing, Brazil is the sixth-biggest vehicle producer in the world, turning out 3.64 million units under 17 different brands.

That base looks set to expand further with South Korea’s Hyundai and China’s Chery poised to also open factories.

That highlights Brazil’s enviable dual role as both Latin America’s biggest market, and “a production and development hub” for the region, Belini said.

Sixty percent of Brazil’s auto exports go to Argentina, while another 20 percent go to other parts of the continent, Anfavea said.

In terms of vehicle imports, 50 percent come from Argentina, 22 percent from South Korea and China, 10 percent from Mexico and 6.5 percent from Europe and the United States.

The panorama could change, though, as Brazil’s currency, the real, continues to soar against the dollar and the euro. That makes imported vehicles sought after by class-conscious Brazilians more affordable, and makes Brazilian exported vehicles more costly.

“We are feeling difficulties in competing in foreign markets, and at the same time imports are growing,” Belini admitted.

For now, however, the situation is rosy, with 780,000 vehicles being sold abroad, 64 percent more than 2009.

Source: SGGP

Book on Uncle Ho featured in Germany

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:52 am

A book entitled “Ho Chi Minh – A Chronicle” was presented to German readers by its author, journalist Hellmut Kapfenberger, in Berlin recently.

             The late President, Ho Chi Minh

This was the fourth time the book has been brought to the atttention of German readers since it was first published in 2009. The event was jointly held by cadres who had worked at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and Solidarity Service International (SODI).

At the event, which attracted nearly 100 readers who were interested in Vietnam , Hellmut summarised the biography of President Ho Chi Minh and read two chapters of the book.

He said that he had tried to complete the book on the 119 th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday and presented it to the German public before it was translated into Vietnamese and published in Hanoi on the occasion of the 120 th anniversary of the former President’s birthday.

Journalist Hellmut Kapfenberger lived and worked in Vietnam as a correspondent of the Eastern German news agency ADN and New Germany newspaper during 1970-73 and 1980-84.

With deep sentiments and respect towards President Ho Chi Minh he had collected documents and articles as well as met with Vietnamese Party and State leaders and people to study about Uncle Ho with a desire to write a book on the Vietnamese celebrity. His dream came true in 2009 when “Ho Chi Minh – A Chronicle” was published in Germany by the Neues Leben Publishing House.

Source: SGGP

Suspected bomb bound for Germany found in Namibia

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 3:26 am

Germany raises security alert after attack warnings

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

Mail bomb campaign in Athens reaches Germany

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 6:12 am

Vietnam film week opens in Germany

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 at 10:26 am

A Vietnamese film week opened in Magdeburg city of the Sachsen-Anhalt state on Oct. 14 as part of the Vietnam Year in Germany in 2010.

          Actress Mai Hoa in the film Doi Cat (Life of Sand)

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vietnamese charge d’affaires Bui Ngoc Toan stressed the importance of the film week which takes place in the year Vietnam and Germany celebrate their 35 th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The event, which features 10 Vietnamese well-known films, including Doi Cat (Life of Sand), Dung Dot (Don’t Burn), Song trong so hai (Living in Fear) and Chuyen cua Pao (Pao’s Storty), will tell Germany’s audience about Vietnam’s culture as well as the Vietnamese people’s normal life.

Burkhart Fieber, who is in charge of international cooperation, European issues and communications of the Sachsen-Anhalt state spoke highly of the sound cooperation between Vietnam and the state, especially in economy and education.

He also highly appreciated the integration by Vietnamese community living in Sachsen-Anhalt.

Visitors to the opening ceremony had chance to learn about Vietnamese landscape, people and culture through short films and documents introduced by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism as well as enjoyed Vietnamese dishes and traditional music.

Source: SGGP

Germany posts record growth in second quarter

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

FRANKFURT (AFP) – Germany posted its best quarterly growth since reunification in 1990 on Friday, with one economist saying it was “in a league of its own” as other leading nations showed signs of slowing down.

The German economy, Europe’s biggest, thundered ahead at a rate of 2.2 percent in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, and 4.1 percent from the second quarter of 2009, the national statistics office said.

(AFP file) Construction cranes work in Berlin, 2007.

“The recovery of the German economy, which lost momentum at the turn of 2009/2010, is really back on track,” the Destatis office said. “Such quarter-on-quarter growth has never been recorded before in reunified Germany.”

Elsewhere, major economies in North America and Asia are showing signs of slowing down while the 16-nation eurozone might see better than expected figures in the third quarter too.

ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski said Germany was “playing in a league of its own.”

Destatis also revised the first quarter growth figure higher to 0.5 percent from an initial estimation of 0.2 percent, the rate seen at the end of 2009.

After suffering its worst post-war recession in 2009, “we are now experiencing XL growth,” Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a second-quarter rise of 1.4 percent and an annualised gain of 2.6 percent.

The record figure is especially notable as fears grow that the United States and now China, the Asian powerhouse, are showing distinct signs of slowing, raising questions about the overall global recovery.

But while Germany normally relies on exports to underpin growth — it is the second biggest exporter worldwide after China — “household and government final consumption expenditure contributed to GDP growth, too,” Destatis said.

“Structurally in a much better shape than many other industrialized countries, it was just a matter of time before the German economy would pick up further speed,” Brzeski said.

UniCredit counterpart Alexander Koch said Germany had “put the pedal to the metal” in the second quarter, and added that “the massive rebound in the spring GDP figures impressively confirms the revival of the German business model.”

Barclays Capital senior economist Julian Callow said the latest figures put Germany “on track to grow around three percent or even slightly more for this calendar year, significantly stronger than our prior estimate.”

For the full eurozone, European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said last week: “We consider that both the second quarter and probably the third quarter are likely to be better than we had anticipated.”

Source: SGGP

US court says Germany can be sued over Hitler-era bonds

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

MIAMI (AFP) – A US court of appeals said Germany can be sued by Florida investors seeking reimbursement for post World War I reconstruction bonds that Adolf Hitler stopped paying in the 1930s, a lawyer for the plaintiffs told AFP.

“The court decided that the complaint filed against Germany can proceed to discovery and that the case should not be dismissed because Germany is a ‘foreign sovereign,'” said Michael Elsner, who represents Tampa-based World Holdings in the case.

“We requested damages in the hundred of millions of dollars range, it’s a number over 450 million dollars,” the lawyer added.

The bonds were issued by Germany to rebuild the country after World War I (1914-1918), but repayment was stopped by then chancellor Hitler in 1933 as he was preparing for World War II, court documents showed.

Elsner said Germany has argued that the bonds were repaid after World War II, but that many were stolen by Russian troops at the time, requiring a special document validation process in Germany before any reimbursement claim can be answered.

A German Embassy official in Washington declined to comment on the case.

Elsner said Wednesday’s ruling meant investors can continue with their lawsuit seeking repayment, adding that the case would now return to the district court in Miami for further instruction.

Source: SGGP

19 killed in Love Parade stampede in Germany

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

 Some were trampled to death, some crushed against the walls of a tunnel, Germany on Sunday mourned 19 people killed in a sudden stampede by thousands trying to get to a huge open air music festival.

Another 340 people were injured in the mass panic to get to the Love Parade dance party in the western city of Duisburg that drew about 1.4 million partygoers from across the world, according to a new mounting toll given by police.

Authorities have not yet given any indication as to what set off the sudden fright. But questions were immediately raised about the safety of the 200 metre (650 feet) long and 30 metre (100 feet) wide tunnel that was the main access to the giant rave being held in a former railway freight yard.

Participants of the Love Parade 2010 dance at the festival in Duisburg, western Germany.

Police said the main crush was inside the tunnel, but a Duisburg city official said some people also died on the steps leading up to the tunnel.

Most revellers remained unaware of the incident and kept on dancing into the night as authorities kept a lid on the news to avoid another panic.

Eyewitnesses described horrific scenes however.

“Everywhere you looked there were blue faces,” one young female partygoer told the Die Welt daily.

“My boyfriend pulled me out over the bodies, otherwise we would both have died in there. How can I ever forget those faces. The faces of the dead.”

Several people fell to the ground and were trampled underfoot, another witness told the NTV news channel.

“Some people were on the ground while others were climbing up the walls,” said the witness, Udo Sandhoefer.

Police and security officials tried to get into the tunnel “but it was already too full,” he added.

“People kept trying to get into the tunnel for about 10 minutes, then realised what had happened and turned around,” he said.

Another 18-year-old witness named Marius told the Bild daily: “There was no way of escaping. There was a wall of people in front of me. I was scared I was going to die.”

Panicked friends and family sent a raft of messages on Twitter in a bid to locate missing partygoers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “aghast” at the catastrophe.

“In these difficult hours, my thoughts are with the relatives of the victims. They have my sympathy and my condolences.”

“Young people came to party. Instead, there was death and injury. I am aghast and saddened by the sorrow and the pain,” she said in a statement.

President Christian Wulff said: “Such a catastrophe that has caused death, sorrow and pain during a peaceful festival involving young people from many countries is dreadful.”

Shock turned quickly to anger as partygoers criticised organisers for only allowing one entrance through the tunnel to the festival.

There was “simply nowhere to get out” of the area around the tunnel, one survivor told WDR television.

Focus magazine quoted the founder of the Love Parade, who goes by the name of Dr Motte (Dr Moth), as saying: “The organisers are to blame … they showed not the slightest responsibility for people.”

The influential mass circulation Bild asked on its website: “Why did the police let people carry on the party?”

Duisburg mayor Adolf Sauerland vowed to hold a comprehensive enquiry.

“In the run-up to the event, we worked out a solid security plan with the organisers and everyone involved,” he said.

“The investigations that have already been launched must uncover the precise course of events.”

Source: SGGP

Britain, Germany, UAE airports ‘refuse fuel to Iran jets’

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Airports in Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates have refused to refuel Iranian passenger planes since Washington imposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran last week, ISNA news agency said Monday.

An Iran Air plane at Paris-Orly airport. Airports in Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates have refused to offer fuel to Iranian passenger jets after unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington, ISNA news agency said

IRNA, the official state news agency, said in a separate report that Kuwaiti airports have also turned down fuel for Iranian passenger planes.

“Since last week, after the passing of the unilateral law by America and the sanctions against Iran, airports in England, Germany, the UAE have refused to give fuel to Iranian planes,” ISNA quoted Mehdi Aliyari, secretary of Iranian Airlines Union, as saying.

The decision by the airports in these countries comes at a time when a large number of expatriate Iranians, especially those in Europe, travel to and from Iran for summer holidays.

Aliyari said their refusal has so far impacted Iran Air, the national carrier, and a leading private airline, Mahan Air, as both operate several flights to Europe.

Pervez Sorouri, a lawmaker and member of Iranian parliament’s committee on foreign policy and national security, warned of a retaliatory action by Tehran, especially towards the United Arab Emirates.

He said Iran was an important trade partner of the UAE which is emerging from a financial crisis and “this (UAE’s refusal) can have some reaction from Iran,” ISNA reported.

Last Thursday, US President Barack Obama signed into law the toughest ever US sanctions on Iran, which he said would strike at Tehran’s capacity to finance its nuclear programme and deepen its isolation.

The measures, on top of new United Nations and European sanctions, aim to choke off Iran’s access to imports of refined petroleum products like gasoline and jet fuel, and to curb its access to the international banking system.

“With these sanctions — along with others — we are striking at the heart of the Iranian government’s ability to fund and develop its nuclear programmes,” Obama said before signing the sanctions into law.

“There should be no doubt: the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

World powers led by Washington suspect Tehran is making nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian atomic programme. Iran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

On June 9, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth set of sanctions against Iran, which was followed by unilateral punitive measures by the European Union and later by the United States.

Iran could lodge a complaint to the United Nations and the International Civil Aviation Organisation over the action of these airports, lawmaker Kazem Jalali was quoted as saying by the English-language Iran News.

“A special committee has been set up in the Iranian majlis (parliament) to study the US sanctions on jet fuel,” Jalali said. “The US president has done his best to isolate the Islamic republic of Iran but to no avail.”

On Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again dismissed the sanctions imposed on Iran.

“The sanctions that they have imposed do not strike a blow at Iran … They have imposed these sanctions to defend themselves and they know they cannot do anything,” the hardliner said in the northwestern city of Bonab.

All the four set of UN sanctions have been imposed on Iran under the presidency of Ahmadinejad who has defiantly pursued Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Source: SGGP