German economy grows at record pace before second wave of pandemic

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German economy grew by a record 8.2% in the third quarter as higher consumer spending and exports helped Europe’s largest economy to recover partly from its worst-ever recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed on Friday.

The jump in output from July to September was the biggest since the Federal Statistic Office began collecting quarterly growth data in 1970 and was stronger than the 7.3% increase predicted by economists in a Reuters poll.

Germany warns of 20,000 new daily COVID cases within days

BERLIN (Reuters) - The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany is likely to reach 20,000 a day by the end of the week, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday, as authorities readied new curbs to break the second wave of the pandemic.

Germany, widely praised for its initial response to the crisis, is contending with a faster upswing in cases than expected, prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring forward to Wednesday talks with state leaders on additional curbs.

German government warns Thai king not to conduct politics from Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is continuing to look into the behaviour of Thailand’s king, who tends to spend long stretches of time in Bavaria, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday, as opposition protests in Thailand gain speed.

“We are monitoring this long-term,” Maas said. “It will have immediate consequences if there are things that we assess to be illegal.”

In Bangkok, protesters planned to march to the German embassy on Monday to present a petition to Berlin to investigate the king’s use of his powers while in the European nation.

German economy minister calls for strong European actors for 5G expansion

BERLIN (Reuters) - The EU supports the idea of free competition but must be vigilant when its security interests are affected, Germany’s economy minister said when asked whether sidelining China’s Huawei on the 5G mobile network expansion could lead to a competitive disadvantage.

He is not against Huawei, said Peter Altmaier after a video conference of European Union competition ministers on Friday. However, strong European actors were needed in this segment, he added.

German health minister tests positive for coronavirus

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday and placed himself in home quarantine, the Health Ministry said.

It said Spahn, 40, was suffering from cold-like symptoms and that people he had been in contact with were being informed.

Spahn had told Chancellor Angela Merkel of his diagnosis and she had wished him a swift recovery, a spokesman said.

Spahn attended a cabinet meeting earlier on Wednesday, but a government spokesman said other cabinet ministers would not necessarily have to go into quarantine.

German econ minister tells firms to diversify beyond China in Asia

BERLIN (Reuters) - German companies should diversify to other Asian markets beyond China to be less dependent on single supply chains which the pandemic has shown were vulnerable to interruption, economy minister Peter Altmaier said.

Trade between the two exporting and manufacturing powerhouses has led in recent years to China becoming Germany’s most important non-European supplier and its second most important export market.

But Altmaier told a business conference that the coronavirus outbreak had shown that supply chains were often one-sided and created dependencies.

Germany: New virus-related restrictions heighten uncertainty, ECB's Lagarde says

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - New coronavirus-related restrictions on everyday life in the euro zone add to the economic uncertainty, underlining the need for continued easy fiscal and monetary policy, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.

“It is clear that both fiscal support and monetary policy support have to remain in place for as long as necessary and ‘cliff effects’ must be avoided,” Lagarde told an economic forum.

Nord Stream 2 will be completed, timing is unknown - German Foreign Minister

BERLIN, October 17. /TASS/: The Nord Stream 2 project will be completed, the only question that arises is when exactly this will happen, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affair Heiko Maas said in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

"I proceed from the assumption that Nord Stream 2 will be completed. The question is when [this will happen]," he said. Referring to criticism of the project from Washington, Maas said: "We make decisions about our energy policy and energy supply here - in Europe."

New virus restrictions in Europe; Merkel warns of hard days

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to come together like they did in the spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the country posted another daily record of new cases Saturday.

“Difficult months are ahead of us,” she said in her weekly video podcast. “How winter will be, how our Christmas will be, that will all be decided in these coming days and weeks, and it will be decided by our behavior.”

Meanwhile, new restrictions went into effect in several other European nations in an effort to staunch the resurgence of the pandemic.

Germany: ECB's Mersch unconvinced of need for new strategy

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch said on Wednesday he had yet to be convinced that the ECB, currently in the middle of rewriting its inflation target and how to achieve it, needed a new strategy at all.

“I’m still one to be fully convinced of a new strategy which would be yielding superior results to what our existing strategy has yielded up to now,” Mersch told an online event.

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