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Interview to the Consul of Germany, by Pietro Stroppa
Focus on Europe

28 December 2007

Interview to the Consul of Germany, by Pietro Stroppa

We met the general Consul.of Germany, Dr. Axel Hartmann, who told us:

“Being a part of the EU has served as a stimulus to improve our economy and public accounts. We have made a lot of progress in this field, there is less red tape, our country has become more efficient thanks to optimization of our production structure, unemployment has decreased and our pension programme has been reformed in order to compete on a European level. We have invested heavily in East Germany, which has always had an agricultural tradition, bringing industries such as BMW to Leipzig, General Motors to Eisenach, Volkswagen to Dresden and Mercedes to Söemmerda.
However, several German industries find it more advantageous to invest in Poland or Romania because labour costs are much lower than in Germany. Being more competitive is not an easy objective to achieve. However, our strength lies in the quality of our products and our technological know-how, placing us in first position in Europe. At present, economically speaking, this is not a particularly good moment, anything that is not strictly necessary is eliminated. For example, Italy has cut back on exports of food, furniture and textiles to Germany because they are not essential sectors.”

What about future prospects?
“Compared to last year, our economy has increased by 2.7% and we are hopeful that this trend will continue and improve next year. Our expectations for the future are good and, in order to be more competitive, we willa continue to focus on research and technological development. Although, our production costs are higher than those in other countries, technologically speaking we are still the best and intend to keep it this way.
One strategic issue that not only concerns Germany but Europe as a whole and which has to be solved is the energy factor. We can no longer count on supplies as we did in the past, just look at what happened first in the Ukraine and what is now happening in Russia, not to mention the continuous increase of costs as well as the negative repercussions on the environment and pollution.”

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