Germany business chief says Merkel coalition harms firms | News | DW | 04.06.2019
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Germany business chief says Merkel coalition harms firms

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been heavily criticized by the Federation of German Industries. The organization's head stated that her administration had damaged businesses.

Angela Merkel's policies came under heavy criticism on Tuesday as her coalition government was accused of compromising the business sector.

Dieter Kempf, the president of the Federation of German industries (BDI), preceded the Chancellor's address at Tuesday's annual industry conference with a ringing rebuke. He said the coalition government had "gambled away" the trust businesses had in it by not delivering on digitization.

Dieter Kempf giving a speech at the German Industry Day

BDI President Dieter Kempf gave a speech at the German Industry Day criticizing Angela Merkel's coalition government

And Kempf didn't hold back in his opinion on the government's strategies. "Government policies are harming companies," he said, adding that the ruling coalition stood for "fainthearted implementation of piecemeal social policies and an unhealthy level of redistribution."

Consistency required

Kempf also had stern words regarding the problems affecting a Social Democrat Party in disarray following recent upheaval. "We demand that the coalition parties deliver on their mandate. We call for a federal government to be consistent," he said.

In a clear reference to the resignation of SPD leader Andrea Nahles, Kempf added that political harmony had "become more difficult" as a result.

Read more: Germany faces turbulent times

Merkel gave a retaliatory speech in which she highlighted the government's efforts to rectify the industry's mistakes, such as the auto emissions cheating scandal. The chancellor said: "I do not want to say how many hours I spent in recent months with the rule violations of the auto industry."

Merkel extolled the virtues of teamwork. "We have a joint responsibility. Trust in the federal government is important, but trust in industry is also important," she added. "We can only manage this together."

jsi,rc (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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