German Economy

Worries mount for German “Mittelstand” as election looms

A worker attaches a handle to a jug at A Berlin-based porcelain maker. Despite a global slowdown, three out of four German Mittelstand firms are struggling to find skilled workers. Photo: Reuters

Christof Rosenberg has been trying for a year to find a skilled toolmaker for the specialist pipe company he runs with his two brothers in western Germany.

Friday, 5 July, 2013, 2:03pm

Germans irked as Hollande says EU cannot dictate French reforms

German chancellor Angela Merkel (left) wants President Francois Hollande to undertake structural reforms, including cutting public spending, revamping pensions and cutting labour costs. Photo: Xinhua

President Francois Hollande has pledged to carry out long overdue reforms of France’s pension system and labour markets but said it was up to Paris, not the European Commission, to determine how they are implemented.

31 May 2013 - 12:01pm