Understanding Germany through Handelsblatt Global

Germany is the most populous country in Europe, and it’s biggest economy. Yet how much do we know about their society, and attitudes? I imagine the answer is, no, I don’t know much about them, but I do like their cars.

We know much about France and Spain, primarily because we Brits are frequent visitors, and in some cases holiday home owners. Many of us, sadly, are not fluent in French or Spanish, though we’ve all probably got a good smattering of words and phrases in their languages. Of German, I guess, few of us have even a smattering.

There is a splendid source of up-to-date news and opinion on German business, culture, and politics, all written for global consumption. Written in English, Handlelsblatt Global is the sister publication to Handelsblatt, Germany’s leading financial daily newspaper.

In Handelsblatt Global, there’s a section headed Ask a German: Handelsblatt Explains. Thoroughly interesting and informative.


Guido posts Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson’s views on the EU

Splendid. I need no excuse to post Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills. It is, perhaps, my very favourite heavy metal rock anthem.

In Guido Fawkes blog is the BBC Newsnight interview with Bruce Dickinson, the band’s lead singer, and an unusual character to lead a heavy metal rock band. Here’s Run to the Hills, followed by Bruce’s Newsnight interview – click on image to watch.

Crossing the Bilbao estuary on the world’s oldest Transporter Bridge

A smattering of stories about our recent holiday to Bilbao is what I promised. Here’s the first, about an unusual bridge.

Bilbao sits astride the tidal Nervion River, whose outlet is into the Bay of Biscay. Not far to the north of Bilbao, near the mouth of the river, is the world’s oldest transporter bridge connecting the two towns, Portugalete [left side bank] and Getxo [right side bank].

The bridge has a number of names, Bizkaia Bridge in Basque language, Vizcaya Bridge in Spanish, and commonly known locally as Puente Colgante [“Hanging Bridge”].

Built between 1890 and 1893 by Alberto de Palacio in cooperation with Ferdinand Arnodin. Palacio was a disciple of Gustave Eiffel. During the Spanish civil war the bridge suffered, with the crossbeam being destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1941. In 1998 a modernised gondola was inaugurated, and in 1999 a walkway across the crossbeam.

On 13th July 2006 the bridge was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. We crossed the river on the bridge – price remarkably cheap, just 40 cents. On the Portugalete side are images of other transporter bridges, including three in the UK. Here are our photos of the bridge.


Youth unemployment remains unacceptably high in Europe

Found this graph while wandering around on the internet. It’s not the latest figures for 2017, which you can see HERE, although they’re impenetrable in my view. Better to see the latest data HERE, though youth unemployment is marginally less in most countries than in the chart below, while in Spain, Greece, and Italy it can only be characterised as appalling.

Theresa May hits back at negative EU briefings

Excuse me, what was Theresa May supposed to say at the dissolution of Parliament – everything is fine and dandy with the relationships with the EU. After learning that the exit bill from the EU is €100 billion, and that the European Court of Justice is required to be the arbiter of EU citizen’s rights when residing in the UK.

She is entitled to object, and in strong terms. I’m not of the opinion, held by many commentators – left and right, that it’s demeaning of the Prime Minister to respond as she did – READ HERE.

I couldn’t put it better than the incomparable Daniel Hannan,