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German report German report
by Euro Reporter
2012-09-13 11:41:35
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Engagement in Europe key for German economy

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the country's parliament Tuesday that German economic growth is impacted by the cooling economies around the world and by the U.S. fiscal deficit, but reiterated that the independence of the European Central Bank has to be respected. "The independence of the European Central Bank has to be respected, and defended," Mr. Schaeuble told the Bundestag, the German parliament, at the beginning of the budget debate Tuesday morning.

His comments addressed complaints from various politicians that the ECB is acting without democratic mandate when it buys sovereign bonds. "It is crucial nothing is happening in the (euro-zone) member states without consequent reforms," he said. "Conditions are an inevitable condition for all aid programs. Nothing will change." Reform will not stem from the central bank's printing press, he said. "There is no comfortable way" to resolve the European fiscal crisis. He added the causes are mistakes in fiscal and economic policies that need to be corrected.

He did, however, stress that struggling euro-zone countries have made progress, namely Portugal, but also Greece, which has made "remarkable progress," he said. Still, he added "there cannot be any new negotiations" with Greece. Greece had said it needed more time to implement its fiscal and economic reforms to cut its deficit. Mr. Schaeuble said that the German economy cooled, but that it has become "more shock-resistant and a significant rise in unemployment is unlikely.”We can be confident" about the economy, he said.


Germany 'to need 1,000 planes in next 20 years'

European aircraft maker Airbus said on Tuesday that Germany, the continent's biggest economy, would need more than 1,000 planes over the next 20 years but cast doubt over its sales of A380 "superjumbos". "Airlines in Germany will require more than 1,000 new passenger aircraft (100 seats and above) and freighters (above 10 tonnes of payload)," said Airbus on the sidelines of the ILA Airshow in Berlin. "In terms of new passenger aircraft deliveries over the coming 20 years, German airlines will take more aircraft than any other European country and globally is one of the top five countries," the firm added. Despite this opportunity for Airbus, the firm's chief executive said it would be hard to hit the sales target of 30 for its new A380 "superjumbo".

"We will probably have difficulties to reach this number this year," Fabrice Bregier told reporters at a dinner late Monday. Airbus has won 257 orders from 20 different companies for the A380, the world's biggest passenger airliner, since it launched the plane in 2000. It has delivered 82 to eight airlines, plagued by the discovery of cracks in the wings of several of the A380s. Hong Kong Airlines said last month it was considering cancelling a $3.8 billion order for 10 of the planes but had made no firm decisions.

"On the A380 I must say the priority this year was to fix the wing issue. It's a minor thing but many customers are upset for good reasons," said Bregier. "I expect we will have more customers ... clearly the 380 is the aircraft of the future," he told reporters. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was later Tuesday to open the ILA show which runs until September 16.


Education fails to boost social mobility

German teenagers are failing to secure a better education than their parents, a report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has said. Nevertheless youth unemployment is on the decline. The report presented in Berlin on Tuesday revealed that young people in Germany are finding it harder to use education to move up the social mobility ladder than teenagers elsewhere within nations represented by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the annual "Education at a Glance" report, just 20 percent of 25-34 year-olds in Germany leave education with a higher educational qualification than their parents. That is compared to an average of 37 percent of young people across the 34 nations represented by the OECD. A further 22 percent of young people in Germany don't acquire the same level of education as their parents, compared to an OECD average of 13 percent.

"Education, employment and prosperity are closely linked," Barbara Ischinger, head of the OECD Directorate for Education said, when presenting her findings. In order to increase prosperity and tackle social inequality, education has to be improved, she added. Britain, France, Italy and Poland stood out among the countries who rated highly on the so-called "education mobility rate."

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