Finance

Government bond negotiations: the ghosts i called

The German Constitutional Court is once again hearing cases against the European Central Bank. At stake is the control of a powerful institution.

Still looking down on us: nominated ECB President Christine Lagarde Photo: ap

The newly elected Molvanian President Claus von Wagner actually wanted to do good for his subjects, to invest in education and social welfare. But the man’s hands are tied: An arrogant representative of the European Central Bank puts his feet on the table in Wagner’s office and declares that Molwania must cut spending for the good of the financial markets. Otherwise, there would soon be no more banknotes coming out of the machines in his country.

Finance

Bulky waste on sidewalks: bad feeling

Many people dispose of their furniture in Altona by putting it on the street. This also has a good side. Nevertheless, it annoys me.

Not only to be found in Hamburg-Altona: Wildly disposed of sofa, in this case in Freiburg Photo: dpa

The other night, I was looking out the window because it was creaking and rattling, and our neighbor across the street dragged an incomplete chest of drawers across the street and left it right in front of our house. Since February, the sewer system in our block is being renewed and such a construction site seems an ideal place to get rid of his bulky waste. Before the chest of drawers, there was already a table and a floor lamp there, at some point the things are in the way of the workers, then they dispose of them with the construction waste.

Finance

Outsourcing in state-owned enterprises: employees outsource

The Berlin campaign "Ban Outsourcing and Temporary Employment" fights against unequal pay in state-owned companies.

Striving for damage limitation: protest against outsourcing in front of the Charite Photo: RubyImages/F. Boillot

To prevent the worst from happening, the only thing that helps many employees in state-owned companies is to fight back: according to the Senate Department for Finance, Berlin’s state-owned companies have around 100 subsidiaries. Their employees often do the same work as colleagues who are directly employed by the parent company. But they are paid significantly less. The difference is often several hundred euros a month, plus worse working hours.

Finance

Start-ups in electromobility: tough road for newcomers

The switch from combustion engines to electric cars opens up market niches. But startups in Germany are having a hard time filling this gap.

Set to hit the road next year – the Sion solar electric car from Sonomotors Photo: Sono Motors GmbH/AP Images

Munich-based start-up Sonomotors has raised a whopping 50 million euros in recent weeks with its crowdfunding campaign. "Now we can tackle the next milestones. So building the production plant and developing the prototype for series production," says Jona Christians, one of the three founders* of Sonomotors, happily. Next year, the Munich-based start-up plans to launch an electric car with integrated solar modules. The vehicle will then be able to drive an additional 34 kilometers using solar energy.