Category: Daily

Mumbai floods: what happens when cities sacrifice ecology for development

As the storm that was hurricane Harvey deluged the areas around Houston, Texas, large parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh also experienced heavy rains. And the city of Mumbai was hit by another major flooding espisode. Several people have...

/ September 1, 2017

The rise and rise of Iran: How Tehran has become pivotal to the future of the Middle East

Iran and the US are once again on a dangerous collision course. President Trump’s search for excuses to decertify the July 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama administration, is exacerbating new tensions in their frayed relations. The US, in...

/ September 1, 2017

What would the FDP do?

THERE is a decent chance that the pro-business Free Democrats will join the next German government under Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), either as her sole coalition partner or alongside the Greens in a so-called "Jamaica" formation (black-yellow-green, like the...

/ August 31, 2017

An interview with Christian Lindner

CHRISTIAN LINDNER is the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP), the pro-business Germany party whose political revival—and possible participation in Angela Merkel’s next coalition government—is covered in this week’s issue. On August 24th he sat down with The Economist for...

/ August 31, 2017

On almost every indicator, Germany’s south is doing better than its north

GERMANY'S north and south have always been different. One half was mostly outside the Roman Empire, the other mostly inside it. The characteristic divide in dialects of German is the “Uerdingen” isogloss separating low forms of the language (where the...

/ August 20, 2017

How Germany responds to “blood and soil” politics

TO VIEW the footage of crowds in Charlottesville yelling Nazi slogans and flying Swastika banners is troubling anywhere. But do so from Berlin is particularly so. America in 2017 is not Germany in 1933. But the chants about “blood and...

/ August 13, 2017

Germany’s election: a primer

POSTERS have gone up around Germany. Angela Merkel is back from her holiday. The chancellor begins her election tour tomorrow, August 12th, with a rally in Dortmund. Next week she travels on to the Rhineland and the north-western city of...

/ August 11, 2017

Angela Merkel, the G-Zero chancellor

IT WAS a tableau to sum up an age. Leaders of the world’s 20 main industrial powers, plus a dusting of international institutions and secondary powers, posed for a photo at the Hamburg Congress Centre. In the middle, among the...

/ July 7, 2017

Gay marriage and the six rules behind Angela Merkel’s political longevity

ON SUNDAY Martin Schulz declared that he would sign no coalition agreement that did not introduce equal marriage in Germany. The Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor candidate was not alone. The Greens and the free-market Free Democrats (FDP) have made similar...

/ June 27, 2017

The Free Democrats and Greens weigh the risks of a coalition with Angela Merkel

CHRISTIAN LINDNER can pull a crowd. On a scorching afternoon on June 19th hundreds of students at Frankfurt’s Goethe University crammed into a lecture hall to hear the sharp-suited leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) preach the liberal gospel:...

/ June 27, 2017

An interview with Christian Kern

IN THIS week's issue of The Economist I have a report from Austria on the growing fractures in the country's politics and society. Here are the opening paragraphs: TO UNDERSTAND Austria, visit the Karl-Marx-Hof. This vast municipal housing complex in...

/ June 2, 2017

An interview with Wolfgang Ischinger

WOLFGANG ISCHINGER knows German foreign policy. He was the country’s deputy foreign minister from 1998 to 2001. He was its ambassador to Washington from 2001 to 2006. Then he spent two years as its man in London. Since then he...

/ May 30, 2017

How to understand Angela Merkel’s comments about America and Britain

THE CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s CDU, hosted a political rally in a tent in eastern Munich today. It was all very local and friendly: the chancellor arrived to a brass-band serenade and had to battle her...

/ May 28, 2017

Triumph for Angela Merkel in Germany’s most populous state

EARLY last month, Martin Schulz addressed a rally of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) at the Zollverein, a coal-mining complex in the Ruhr Valley in western Germany. To this pumped-up crowd in the party’s industrial heartland he proclaimed that if...

/ May 14, 2017

Angela Merkel should seize this chance to remake Europe

GERMAN celebrations of Emmanuel Macron’s victory had barely begun last night when the first arguments about it broke out. The French president-elect’s longstanding calls for a “new deal” between his country and Germany were the impetus. In return for French...

/ May 8, 2017

On the “hipster election” in Schleswig-Holstein

ON SUNDAY France goes to the polls. Emmanuel Macron will win and the far-right Front National will do better than in any presidential election to date. So all eyes will be on Paris. Yet far to the north another, less...

/ May 5, 2017

The triumph of Alexander Gauland

SOME political parties have a habit of airing their dirty linen in public. The right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is one of them. At its conference in Cologne this weekend the total marginalisation of Frauke Petry, its co-chair and until...

/ April 23, 2017

What France’s election means for Germany

IN MAY 2012 a freshly elected François Hollande took off for Germany on his first foreign visit as president, determined to forge a close alliance with Angela Merkel. His plane was hit by lightning and had to turn back to...

/ April 23, 2017

Who is Peter Altmaier and why does he matter?

IF YOU pass the vast, glass-walled chancellery in Berlin at night, you will often see a solitary room illuminated high on its northern side. That is Peter Altmaier's office, a few strides away from Angela Merkel's own eyrie on the...

/ April 12, 2017

A primer on the AfD wars

IT IS a well-established truth that fast-rising political parties outside the political mainstream are prone to division. The National Front (FN) in France has a latitudinal split: its northern outposts are marked by economic statism, its southern ones by a...

/ April 8, 2017