Politics

The economic role of the European Union today

Free Trade Agreements with the USA, sanctions against Russia ?

In March 2014, after years of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian government started a covert invasion of the Crimean Peninsula, which lead to economic sanctions from the EU. This was quite a critical measure, since 30% of the EU’s gas is imported from Russia (by companies like GAZPROM), half of which go through Ukrainian pipelines. Also, there was a world-wide price increase of grain feared, since Russia produces lots of its famous Winter Wheat.

On the other hand, also in March ’14, the European Commission proposed a free trade agreement between the USA and the EU, called the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” ( abbrev.: TTIP ). This contract is expected to be finished – and signed – somewhat around the end of this year. It’s purpose is to reduce tolls and to increase the amount of money which flows between said two economic trading zones in the form of cash bonds, services and material goods.

Both of the above mentioned measures can influence the economy of the whole world very much, showing that the decisions the EU takes are quite important.

Germany’s birthrate

Many people live in Germany with a big population. But just these years the population shrinks every year because the people don’t get two or more children for each household. In contrast to 2010 15.000 less babies were born, exactly 663,000; in many countries the birthrate is ca. 2.1 but in Germany only 1.36. (more…)

25 anniversary of Berlin Wall fall

 

festival at the Brandenburg Gate with 10.000 visitors

festival at the Brandenburg Gate with 10.000 visitors

More than one million visitors came to Berlin to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. It existed from the 13th of August, 1961 to the 9th of November, 1989 and was the famous symbol for the divided world into east and west. 245 people left her lives at the wall for flee before the communistic system of DDR. On this day, it was thought to these courageous people and also on the day, as the wall fall. Already two days before the festival, they put up 8000 balloons straight through Berlin.

(more…)

Hartz IV for immigrants?

Should immigrants get Hartz IV?

Hartz IV(or formally “ALG II”) is like a law, which allows you to get money if you don’t have for more than a year. You can only request Hartz IV if you have worked in Germany before and you got fired by your boss; also, you have to search for a job in the time you’re unemployed. It doesn’t work if you quit your job, because Hartz IV is there to help people who got fired and can’t find a job. (more…)

Differences between East- and West-Germany today

East and West differences – Still meaningful today?

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany on the 3rd October 1989, all people were relieved because of this historic event. Mainly the people who live in East-Berlin and in the DDR (= German Democratic Republic) were happy to be able to celebrate this, because they were free again. At the time before the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were many differences between East- and West-Germany. For instance, the people in East-Germany weren`t free, they were caged in their own country. (more…)