Thursday, July 6, 2017

Germany News Thursday

Housing shortage story: SWR wrote up a good detailed analysis of the affordable housing shortage in Germany.  On numbers, across Germany, there is a remarkable amount of construction going on. But all of this has to be quantified....a large segment of what is delivered is simply not in the affordable range.  One note that SWR does hint that property itself needs to be delivered by the cities into the hands of the developers.  Good piece to read.

Report of a boa:  SWR report of a Ravensburg snake in a local pond seen, but only by one single person.  You see reports like this five or six times a year now.  Usually, the cold winters take care of issues like this.  Owners are simply dropping them into the wild.

Drone concern:  BR (Bavarian public TV) wrote up a piece on more problems seen in the past year with privately owned drones.  It's estimated that 600,000 exist in the hands of private owners.  It's required in Germany to have some type of liability insurance....if you operate a drone.

Construction shortfall:  N-TV economic report that drills down into one interesting shortfall....shortage of qualified personnel within Germany.  The story told revolves around a long period of time where state investment of money for bridges, roads, and buildings.....were at a minimum.  So occupational numbers shifted.....people found other professions.  So now....when the surge has started up, there's a shortage of project managers (one example).  You can define this as a cycle-type problem....where youth felt a career within construction project management wasn't going to offer up jobs and they sought different educational opportunities.

GEZ money issue:  Generally, the German public-TV tax is a mechanism that you go and set up an automatic withdrawal from your account.....monthly, quarterly, or yearly.  Some folks, on the short end of the money business....will simply do a one-time transfer....over and over.  Well....a case came up where some folks wanted to just hand over cash (no electronic transfer) and the court stood in the way of this being legal.  A fairly drawn-out case went through the German legal system about the use and acceptance of cash....which you'd typically think that any service in the nation....must accept cash.  In this case, the court went against the idea.

Peugeot takes over Opel:  No real shocker, the EU approved the takeover of Opel by the French company Peugeot.  Major changes?  No one says that.  Nor does anyone see jobs at Opel diminishing in the near-future.

Volvo major shift:  News out of Volvo this week indicates that by the end of 2019.....ONLY hybrid and electric-motor Volvos will be manufactured and sold.  No pure gas or diesel vehicles from that point on.  Five different models will be the standard for them at that point. I might go and suggest that others will follow this trend, and that hybrids will be the norm within a decade, and that pure-gas engines will come to an end with most European brands.

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