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Economic sanctions hurt everyone Print E-mail

Russia strikes back: Canned sprats for sale at a market. The Russian government has banned import of beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US, and Norway for one year.
Russia strikes back: Canned sprats for sale at a market. The Russian government has banned import of beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US, and Norway for one year.

Blocking trade does not only damage Russia’s economy. The Ukraine crisis should be solved by diplomacy

By Eckhard Cordes

June 19, 2015

The conflict over the future of Ukraine has become a major focus for the German business community’s Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations. The committee has organized many talks and conferences in Ukraine, Russia and Germany over the past 18 months of this ongoing crisis. It has become clear that the conflict did not begin in Kiev or in Crimea. It is the consequence of a profound loss of trust between Russia and the West that began over ten years ago. Both sides have grounds to self-critically examine the causes of that breakdown.

When the European Union enlarged by ten countries in 2004, expanding its borders to meet the western border of Russia, Moscow accepted it. The new proximity would generate immense opportunities that were obvious for both sides. The EU’s new eastern border was not intended to be a dividing line. Instead, it was to become more and more permeable for people and goods.

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Making online trading more efficient Print E-mail

The European Union plans to regulate for a digital single economy

By Günther Oettinger

June 19, 2015

Nowhere are the challenges and the opportunities as great as in the digital economy and society. Not just in the area of online services, as you may think, but in all manner of economic and society-related activities which are closely linked with the digital networks or soon will be.

Nearly all the innovations of the past 20 years have been based on digital technologies – even when they took place in other areas. Minimal-invasive surgery is carried out via computer, fracking is simulated using computer models, parking assistants are digitally-linked sensors. The digital economy therefore goes far beyond what we normally associate with it – such as the Internet, social media, tablet computers, smart phones. These are certainly key technological innovations. However, they are also the instruments with which the digital world extends ever further into the “old” world.

And that is happening at lightning speed. A year ago, few people in Europe had heard of the taxi-finding service Uber or, a few years ago, the hotel substitute Airbnb. Today, they are household names. Digital services, once they exist, can develop very quickly.

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Facing up to the past Print E-mail

Munich was Adolf Hitler’s city. In Munich, he painted his pictures, his party was born and matured in Munich, in Munich the Nazis celebrated their bizarre political religion, and the city enjoyed being called the “capital of the movement.” After 1945, Munich swept this reality under the carpet. The city was silently ashamed of its Nazi past and successfully avoided building a center for documenting Munich’s National Socialist history. On May 1, 2015, Munich finally dedicated its Nazi documentation center. It occupies the place of the formed NSDAP party headquarters, directly on Königsplatz Square. If you hurry, you can take advantage of the free admission period – from Tuesday-Sunday (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) until July 31, 2015.
Munich was Adolf Hitler’s city. In Munich, he painted his pictures, his party was born and matured in Munich, in Munich the Nazis celebrated their bizarre political religion, and the city enjoyed being called the “capital of the movement.” After 1945, Munich swept this reality under the carpet. The city was silently ashamed of its Nazi past and successfully avoided building a center for documenting Munich’s National Socialist history. On May 1, 2015, Munich finally dedicated its Nazi documentation center. It occupies the place of the formed NSDAP party headquarters, directly on Königsplatz Square. If you hurry, you can take advantage of the free admission period – from Tuesday-Sunday (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) until July 31, 2015.

Official Munich has not yet dealt with its Nazi past, but the former “capital of the movement” now has a documentation center

By Peter H. Koepf

June 19, 2015

Rome, Mecca and Moscow. For Adolf Hitler, they all embodied a worldview. The Führer also wanted this kind of symbolic place for his movement, a point of identification and a “cathedral” for celebrating the political religion called National Socialism. Of course his choice was Munich, the city where the Nazi party, the NSDAP was established and “our movement witnessed the first blood sacrifices.” As Hitler phrased it: “The city must become the Moscow of our movement.”

The “blood sacrifices” were the 16 men who lay dead on the square in front of the Feldherrnhalle loggia after Hitler’s dilettantish coup and a shoot-out with the police and Imperial Army on November 9, 1923. On that day, they had marched from the Bürgerbräukeller tavern to the town center with Hitler, former field marshal Erich Ludendorff and thousands of other heavily armed Nazis. In a beer hall the day before, Hitler had fired a bullet into the ceiling and declared the “national revolution.”

The revolution was postponed, but in 1925 – after a short, cozy stay in Landsberg Prison – Hitler was able to celebrate the renaissance of the NSDAP in Munich. After major election victories throughout the empire, a jump in the number of members (by 1931: 430,000) and donations from banks and industry, he moved into the new party headquarters. The “Brown House” seemed like a foreign body in the quiet, well-to-do district of Königsplatz Square.

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