Ironically, the middle class fights back against the industrial policy of Peter Altmaier. In February, the Federal Minister of economic Affairs had presented its “National industry strategy to 2030” – without prior consultation with the industry associations. For this he earned a lot of criticism. Meanwhile, Altmaier referred to his ideas as a proposal for discussion, which he wants to consult with companies, associations and trade unions. In the end, he wants to present a new industrial strategy of the Federal government.

All of the questions in the Overview: What Altmaier? What the critics have to say? What is the response of industry associations and trade unions? Who supports Altmaier? How much industry will there be in Germany?
What Altmaier?

Altmaier calls for a more active state industrial policy in the global competition. In order to prevent unwanted Takeovers by foreign investors, it should be possible for the state to participate in the company – if only for a limited period of time: “Only in very important cases, the state should be able to occur for a limited period of time even as the acquirer of company shares”, – stated in the strategy. Here he had the example of the Augsburg-based robotics group Kuka, Altmaier, a Chinese company has taken over. His idea is that a special Fund be set up, the attacks, if a company in a key industry or a high-technology area by a foreign Investor could be taken.

the future of German companies such as ThyssenKrupp, Siemens, car manufacturers, or financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, company mergers and Acquisitions easier. The European and German competition should be changed: “We need more European Champions, in order to assert ourselves in competition with China and the United States,” said Altmaier. In the United States and China in the past 20 years, numerous new large world market, companies were formed in Germany, there is hardly any new big corporations. Be a role model at the EU level, Airbus is. Altmaier had criticized, among other things, that the EU Commission in January out of concern for too much market power declined within the EU, a Fusion of the Zugsparten of Siemens and Alstom. The Minister of the economy, fears that the enterprises to compete alone in the international competitive.

The burden on companies to reduce Altmaier, head of the environmental and social policies. This includes reasonable energy prices, low taxes and a tax burden of less than 40 percent.

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What the critics say?

Especially the middle class fights back against the plans Altmaiers. Critics complain that the industrial strategy is far too unspecific. In addition, the SMEs come much too short, in Germany, the engine of innovation. And not just large companies such as Siemens or Deutsche Bank, set it to the Altmaier in his strategy. Controversial is whether and how far the state should intervene in order to support German companies in international competition.

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How to respond to industry associations and trade unions?

Skeptical of both the German industry and chamber of Commerce day (DIHK) and the Federation of German industry (BDI) on Altmaiers plans. In particular, the “national Champions” to see both critically. The industry representatives presented their own strategy papers.

“A dedicated state support for national or European ‘Champions’ not least with a view to (…) to evaluate competitive value-added clusters of large, medium-sized and smaller companies with skepticism,” the paper of the BDI. Size does not mean automatically more competitive. The Association puts instead of immediate challenges such as the digitization, the climate and energy policy to the centre. This is a point where the state could help by creating an attractive business environment. A claim, the industrial associations for a Long time to collect.

Important better site conditions, says DIHK President Eric Schweitzer and says to it: less bureaucracy, lower taxes, competitive energy prices and a better supply with digital networks. The DIHK paper also refers to better transport links, Development of infrastructure, as well as the availability of developed industrial and commercial areas.

industrial strategy of the IG Metall, in General, welcomed. The mobility and the energy transition would succeed and that the industry is still innovation, and be able to secure jobs. Altmaier had to say, how to specifically succeed, demands IG Metall Chef Jörg Hofmann.

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Who supported Altmaier?

at Least in the French government Altmaiers ideas. As Altmaier also his French colleague, Bruno Le Maire calls for reform of the European competition law. In a guest post for the daily mirror, the two write, that all major economic areas of the world such as China, Japan, Korea and the US upgraded lines for the global competition of the most important industry. Germany and France should also do this. The top candidate of the European people’s party in the European elections, Manfred Weber, who is also a contender for the Post of the President of the Commission, also proposes to loosen the existing rules of competition.

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How much the industry it is supposed to be in Germany?

Altmaier calls for in his concept, to increase the share of industrial value added in 2030 in Germany of about 23 to 25 percent and at the EU level, from 16 to 20 percent. Importance should be given to ten key industries: steel, chemicals, machinery, automotive, optics, medical devices, Green Tech, defense, aviation and aerospace, as well as the 3-D printing. Germany should not miss out on these developments in the field of electric mobility, digitization, and Artificial intelligence, to be the “extended workbench of the Other”, Altmaier said at the presentation of the strategy in February.

In the EU is Germany, with its industry share is already at the top. In the year 2017, only Ireland and Croatia had a higher value, all other countries are significantly lower. The UK has a industry share of 19 percent, Greece 16 France 20 percent This is compared to China is low: Here, the share of Industry is 40 percent.

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