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22/01/2024 By : Albert Jennings, GIA Germany

Short takes from the German market

The German train system continues to be a source of massive, nation-wide frustration. Years of necessary infrastructure investment have been neglected, trains do not run on time, and to top it all off: a 3-day locomotive engineer strike took place right after the Christmas holidays which crippled travel nation-wide

The farmers have been protesting in Germany since the beginning of the year. The “reason” they are striking is because of reduced fuel subsidies and tax reductions for their diesel-driven equipment. Frustration has been mounting among farmers for years due to EU and German laws encouraging – but also hindering – more ecological farming practices. Large farmers benefit, small farmers barely scrape by.

Infighting continues in the three-party coalition in Germany. The German Supreme Court ruled that the re-allocation of non-utilized Corona funds was not conform to German law, which threw a massive wrench into the federal budget planning.

Housing costs remain high, and the government is hundreds of thousands short of its construction goal for low-cost housing units, but continues to pay billions in housing subsidies. The construction market is strained, and because the government’s budget has not been set, firms do not know if planned infrastructure programs will come to fruition.

The German right wing party AfD is under massive pressure for propagating the “remigration” of asylum seekers, foreign-born residents and those with German-passports that they consider “non-simulated”. Right-wing and conspiracy theorist groups have been infiltrating the farmers’ protest. Supporters of democratic institutions have been taking the streets to protest against the AfD, which is under close observation by Germany’s FBI.

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