Germany's 16 states: Hamburg - DW (English)Sunday, March 3, 2019
Hamburg Going with the flow Boats sail night and day on the Elbe River to the harbor. Their fog horns and the sound of the seagulls create the soundtrack to any early morning run on the pale sand of the shore. The port of Hamburg is 70 nautical miles away from the open sea. Plans to widen the river are to be implemented in order to better serve the massive new cruise ships. Environmentalists protest against it.
10 reasons to love Hamburg Music at its best Hamburg has a new landmark. Like the gigantic bow of a ship, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall sails into the skyline. Built on top of a former red brick warehouse for cocoa, the glass construction rises 110 meters (360 feet) into the sky. The concert house opened in January 2017.
10 reasons to love Hamburg Going underground The Old Elbe Tunnel was the first river tunnel in Europe. It cuts the travel time from the city to the shipyards and docks on the southern shores of the river. Since 1911, lifts have taken pedestrians, ...https://www.dw.com/en/germanys-16-states-hamburg/a-45215303
German states finalize privatization of HSH Nordbank - Xinhua | English.news.cn - XinhuaSunday, March 3, 2019
BERLIN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The German states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have finalized the sale of HSH Nordbank to a private investment consortium on Wednesday.
"The money has arrived", Hamburg finance minister Andreas Dressel (SPD) revealed at a press conference hosted with his counterpart in Schleswig-Holstein Monika Heinold (Greens).
Nine months ago, the two states agreed to sell their controlling stakes in HSH Nordbank to the U.S. investment firms Cerberus and J.C. Flowers among other private investors. The sale had been ordered by European Union (EU) competition authorities and marks the first ever successful privatization of a regional government-owned bank in Germany.
Following the formal acquisition of HSH Nordbank for one billion euros (1.13 billion U.S. dollars), the bank will be renamed in Hamburg Commercial Bank from February 2019. A new supervisory board has also been nominated.
HSH Nordbank chief executive officer (CEO) Stefan Ermisch said in a statement that the "successful switch from public-sector to exclusiv...http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-11/29/c_137638058.htm
State aid: Commission approves aid-free privatisation of German HSH Nordbank - EU NewsSunday, March 3, 2019
Commission, so that the Commission could verify that these conditions were met.
Today's decision confirms that the sale of HSH by the German Länder of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein to a consortium of private equity funds led by J.C. Flowers and Cerberus complies with the requirements set out in the 2016 Commission decision.
Concretely, the Commission found that there is no aid to the buyers since HSH is being sold to the bidders with the highest and most credible offer, in an open and transparent process that resulted in a positive price.
Furthermore, the Commission found that, under its new ownership's business plan, HSH is expected to return to viability. The business plan foresees a significant boost in the bank's profitability thanks to improved asset quality combined with increased efficiency and better cost control. This will ensure that HSH becomes a solvent and viable market player.
In particular, the successful completion of the privatisation will allow HSH to continue to perform its core activities in the market as a restructured and viable entity, without further need of public support.
HSH Nordbank, until now majority-owned by the two German Länder Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, ismainly active in the northern and metropolitan areas of Germany and finances, inter alia, energy and infrastructure projects as well as shipping. The latter was one of the main causes for its difficulties during the financial crisis.
In September 2011, the Commission approved the restructuring of HSH Nordbank, including an asset guarantee of€10 billion, subject to conditions. This asset guarantee was reduced by the bank from €10 billion to €7 billion, in order to lower the bank's fee payments on the guarantee.
In June 2013 the Commission provisi...http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6561_en.htm
Bavaria election: German conservatives lose their fizz - BBC NewsSaturday, December 8, 2018
Bavaria key facts
Nearly 13 million inhabitants and the biggest by area of Germany's 16 federal states
Capital Munich is Germany's third-largest city, after Berlin and Hamburg
Second-highest GDP out of 16 German states
Historically conservative region, with strong Catholic and local traditions
Industrial powerhouse: car and IT sectors especially strong, rich in family-run firms
While support is nowhere near the levels seen in eastern Germany, AfD has made gains here and is likely to enter the state parliament for the first time.
The CSU's leaders have echoed its terminology - Markus Söder speaking of "Asyltourismus" (asylum tourism) - and AfD's anti-migration policies. CSU leader Horst Seehofer nearly scuppered Mrs Merkel's coalition government twice - by insisting on a cap on the number of people seeking asylum in Germany and then pushing plans to turn people away at the borders, in defiance of the German chancellor. It hasn't worked.
Germany's far right on the march in the east
Germany country profile
Migration politics continues to be a source of public protest and concern but, even as far-right sympathisers take to the streets of places like Chemnitz, they are mobilising others too.More than 20,000 people, horrified by the political tone in the run-up to this election, took to Munich's streets for an anti-hate demonstration last week. And many are turning to the Green party.It's on course to do far better than AfD and take second place. The Greens' leaders are coy for now about such a prospect, but a coalition with the weakened ruling CSU is likely.
On Christian Meidinger's chicken farm, green fields roll to the horizon - a reminder that this is a rural state. He's voting Green. "Bavaria has changed," he says. "Many - whether it's those who were born here or those who moved here - don't feel that connected to its traditions. The CSU missed the boat, didn't change with the people. And now it tries desperately to reclaim Heimat and Bavaria, but society has moved on - you can't turn back time." Angela Merkel will be keeping a close eye on Bavaria. What happens here won't affect her immediately - beyond perhaps a face change at the coalition table, should the CSU oust its leader, Horst Seehofer. But this election illustrates the complexity of the challenge faced by so many of Europe's large established parties. It's not simply the rise of the far right. It's that voters are walking away in favour of smaller, newer movements. Bavaria's political landscape, once a near certainty, is fragmenting fast. With a force the old centre can no longer resist.