Monthly Archives: May 2010

Tax dispute is to test for Federal Government

CDU- und FDP-Fähnchen vor dem Bundestag in Berlin: Im Gebälk der Koalition rumort es. Quelle: dpa

CDU and FDP flags before the Bundestag in Berlin: In the rafters of the coalition, it rumbles. Source: AP

HB BERLIN. Tax increases to reduce the debt burden will be to test the black-yellow coalition. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) agreed with the Germans on a billion cuts in health and Hartz IV. To clean up the budget "all citizens must contribute to them in a reasonable way." Pensions wants to retain the government.

Minister Rainer Brüderle went on a collision course: "There will be no tax increases with the FDP," he told the Hamburger Abendblatt. The state will not take too much money, but to give out a lot. FDP leader Guido Westerwelle graduated from a higher VAT. "Such a policy of permanent burden on the citizens with the FDP not to do," he told the Welt am Sonntag ". The tax was only three years ago increased from 16 to 19 percent.

Unions and the SPD warned of a social exploitation. The government should not save at the expense of workers and "ordinary people". SPD Chief Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned the Federal Government, not strangle the economy to a rigorous austerity. He proposed raising the top tax rate or charge too much more power. Every year, ten billion euros more would come into the state treasury.

"People want us to attribute the high debt"

The Liberals are a growing nervousness as to the of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) after the electoral debacle in North Rhine-Westphalia and the tax money they react Umfragentief. FDP Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called the "mirror" to change course and criticized Westerwelle. "Each of us does not make everything right and can learn and improve, including the chairman."

The next Sunday it would be exciting in the Chancellery. Then the federal cabinet pulls back for two days to lay down markers for the budget 2011 and budget to 2014. The output requirements of the ministries to 2014 are now around nine billion euros over the planning.

Schäuble has only because of the debt brake ten billion annually by 2016 to save € or additionally earned. The Finance Minister spoke of a difficult but not impossible task. "Wish they could not be instruments of torment. The citizens, that we attribute the high levels of debt," he told the Bild am Sonntag ".

Bundesfinanzminister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU): "Die Bürger wollen, dass wir die hohe Verschuldung zurückführen." Quelle: dpa

Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU): "The citizens want us to attribute the high levels of debt." Source: AP

Schäuble sees room to save especially for Hartz IV benefits and unemployment benefits. "Something must be done." Also in the health sector wants the CDU-politician ran with cost. "The power of medicine has increased dramatically. And this has its price." He dare Health Minister Philippe Rösler (FDP), to deal with this huge task. Schäuble also stressed he would not save the welfare broken.

Rösler plans to reportedly hefty premium increases for high-income insured patients. Volunteer members of the public health insurance would have a premium increase of up to 63 € reckon a month, told the Berliner Zeitung at the weekend, citing government sources. It is conceivable that the existing surcharge would be replaced by a capitation payment of approximately € 30. In order to protect the low paid, at the same time should the income threshold at which the cash contribution does not rise further, be raised from 3750 € to 400 € per month. A "Focus" report suggests that this could affect up to 4.4 million of the approximately 70 million insured.

The Federal Ministry of Health said of speculation. The increase in the ceiling would bring about two billion euros, said a spokesman. This rich are far from enough to cover the expected deficit for 2011 in the statutory health insurance. "Whoever speculated that the earnings limit to be raised, only shows that he understands nothing of the matter".

Opposition, trade unions and social organizations to denounce opposition

Hesse FDP leader Joerg-Uwe Hahn took Schäuble at the front. This misunderstands the situation and be yourself ‘has become the instruments of torment "in the coalition. "With his woofs from the start he has become a burden on the federal government," said Hahn of the Leipziger Volkszeitung.

The government must adapt to fierce resistance from opposition, trade unions and social organizations. "We are ready, these conflicts if they come to take in the plants," said DGB, Michael Sommer, head of the magazine Super Illu.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer (CSU) wants to prevent massive cuts in its field. In addition to traffic education is a cornerstone of the sustainability of Germany. "The biggest investment of the federal budget is not a quarry," said Ramsauer the "mirror".

One day less vacation time suggested the CDU politician Andreas Lammel. "Every day that is worked in Germany for more, is good for the economy and thus for the tax revenue," he told the "Bild".

First resignation in new British government

Zurückgetreten: David Laws. Quelle: dpa

Resignation: David Laws. Source: AP

HB LONDON. The Liberals acknowledged that he had ordered a refund in the years 2004 to 2007 the rent for two rooms that were in the apartment of his longtime partner. The resignation is the first setback for the coalition government that the population in the coming weeks, has yet to explain tough austerity measures.

Laws has already apologized publicly. He said did not enrich himself, but he wanted to hide his homosexuality. The total expenses amounted, according to the newspaper "Daily Telegraph" on more than 40 000 pounds (47 000 €).

The office of Prime Minister Cameron announced on Saturday night, Laws’ party friend Danny Alexander will assume his post. The 38-year-old Alexander advised the election campaign the head of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg. Together with Alexander Laws counted also among the negotiators of his party for the coalition talks with the Conservatives.

In Britain it is Parliament banned since 2006, make rental payments to spouse or partner and other family members to the State charged. Laws assured that he would repay the money immediately. "Although my problems were caused by my desire to conceal my sexual orientation, I realize that my behavior was somehow wrong," said the Liberal.

The new conservative Prime Minister David Cameron had promised during the election campaign to put an end to the abuse charges. British politics has been rocked by scandal the past year reports of questionable statements by Members.

The now retired Financial Secretary Laws had a week ago, stressed on the first presentation of a savings package of government, cabinet members should also practice renunciation. The ministers will in future not own cars and drivers have more. "Of the ministers will be expected to walk or use public transport whenever possible, or use a car but out of the pool," said Laws, the austerity measures.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance plays an important role in the planned reforms of the coalition government. Sun Laws worked together with Finance Minister George Osborne at a Nothaushalt, on 22 June will be presented. The savings to the British budget deficit would be reduced from currently more than eleven percent of GDP.

"I do not see how I can continue my important work on the budget and the review of government spending, while I would be employed simultaneously with the private and public consequences of the recent revelations," said Laws in with his resignation. Cameron called Laws decision honorable. Clegg told the BBC: "David Laws has today taken a very painful decision. It was his sole decision." Finance Minister Osborne also regretted the resignation. He had always had the impression that Laws to the Office of Secretary of State was born.

The affair involved false expenses claims British MP had already brought the Labor government of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in difficulties.

Westerwelle snaps back to the traffic light option

Guido Westerwelle: "Welche Koalition wir am Ende in Nordrhein-Westfalen sehen werden, bleibt abzuwarten."  Quelle: dpa

Guido Westerwelle, "What we will see at the end of coalition in North Rhine-Westphalia remains to be seen." Source: AP

HB DÜSSELDORF. In an interview with the Welt am Sonntag "he said," What we will see coalition in North Rhine-Westphalia at the end remains to be seen. The FDP leadership is there to decide responsibly and properly. " He welcome the SPD and the Greens no longer wanted to work with the Left Party. For an alibi event, the FDP did not want to give up and refused on the negotiations with the SPD and Greens. "What remains coalition, we will see at the end of North Rhine-Westphalia, to be seen," said Westerwelle.

This Westerwelle startled at the weekend the party’s friends in his native North Rhine-Westphalia. As the Chairman had said that no one would officially explain. Unofficially helplessness seemed to rule. The World on Sunday headlined "at least" Westerwelle can flash the lights. " A denial was not. Last, there had been massive criticism within the FDP Westerwelle and the exclusive focus on the Union as a coalition partner.

Politicians of the SPD and the Greens were quick to interpret the sentences as dry inversion of the FDP. So said the deputy SPD Group Chairman Hubertus Heil of the "Welt am Sonntag", "If the FDP wants to really build on good social-liberal tradition, then that’s good for Germany." It was high time that the FDP "freed from Babylonian captivity with the CDU.

The SPD, the FDP had been courted for longer, but was met with granite. Now she is negotiating with about a grand coalition of the CDU.

State leader Hannelore Kraft received on Saturday by a small party in Bochum backing for this course. Party vice-chairman Olaf Scholz emphasized in the "Rheinische Post": "Whoever enters into negotiations to have come to success." The CDU will also be motivated to complete the talks successful. Jürgen Rüttgers would like to form a coalition with the SPD and the Prime Minister to stay.

The theme of light was in mid-May by the Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in North Rhine-Westphalia, Gerhard Papke, been checked off. Reason: We do not talk with people who also speak with the left. The FDP – base had not understood everywhere, especially the efforts to get beyond not red-red-green to a single meeting.

At the weekend, announced Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) to speak: "Talks to state categorically that I find questionable," she told the "mirror". The FDP is not the natural partner of the Union. The Liberals would like being close in the black-yellow government alliances of the time. The party must, however, explore each new, what content could be implemented with who best explained the representative of the liberal wing of the FDP.

FDP General Secretary Christian Lindner said the Germany radio that his party had "a principle of association and willingness to talk with SPD and Greens." He limited but at the same time: "In North Rhine-Westphalia, I see neither the political conditions or that there is an appropriate level of confidence of the political leaders."

The head of the NRW-group of the SPD in the Bundestag, Axel Schäfer, said: "We hear from several district organizations of the FDP with an interest in a joint coalition." There are massive movements recognizable and a dissatisfaction with the rejection of talks.

Union and SPD explore the opportunities currently in Dusseldorf for the formation of a grand coalition. The SPD also has one traffic light coalition is not amortized, but which has failed so far to the FDP on No one red-green-yellow coalition. Bursting of the negotiations are, perhaps to early elections in NRW.

Between Union and the SPD, there are many points of contention – from substantive differences in education policy to staff issues such as the occupation of the post of prime minister, claiming both the CDU and SPD for themselves. The black-yellow coalition government was in the state election on 9 May was voted out. However, a red-green alliance had received a majority.

Rival leaders pay tribute to the respect

Bankenviertel in Frankfurt: Die Kanzlei Freshfields Bruckhaus Derlinger sitzt am Rothschildpark.

Financial district in Frankfurt: The law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Derlinger Rothschild sits at the park.

GARMISCH. The business lawyers of Hengeler Mueller and Freshfields enjoy great reputation in the industry. Your competitors recommend the two law firms in technical terms more often than all other law firms in Germany. This is the result of a recent survey by the American Publishing Best Lawyers among German lawyers, the Legal Success published exclusively in Germany. The two traded law firms each accounted for 61 nominations. Hogan followed with a significant lead Lovells (40), Clifford Chance (39) Gleiss Lutz (34) and CMS Hasche Sigle (28).

The ranking is based on a lot of know-how: More than 1000 lawyers from over 40 jurisdictions of the Best Lawyers editors have been recommended – by labor on company law to tax concerns. Some of the lists published in this issue of Legal Success.

Good placements strengthen Image

Ranked among the last few years the most important marketing tools of the top law firms. They provide managers, executives and department heads right orientation, before instruct the managers a firm and invite you to a pitch. Also increase the image of the rankings listed lawyers and law firms.

Meanwhile, a veritable industry has developed Recommendation: vendor such as Chambers Global, Legal 500, PLC Which Lawyer or the German publisher Juve create lists that represent the reputation of the business lawyer. The effort of law firms, industry service to provide information is constantly on – all the PR departments are busy all year with it. But because there is no objective measurement methods, the research results are ultimately based on subjective assessments of the respective editors.

High response rate

The publishers usually collect extensive data from the questionnaires, law firms, including statements of the clients on the quality of advice. A different approach is to separate under the economic lawyer wheat from the chaff, which would result Publisher Best Lawyers in the U.S. state of South Carolina. He lists attorney created after a peer-review process. Leading lawyers evaluate their colleagues here from the competition in a confidential procedure. The idea: As a rule, an expert on outstanding qualities have before mentioned him praise a competitor.

From December 2009 to April 2010 the Best Lawyers editorial questioned the German lawyers according to who are the closest competitors in their field. According to James Barr, Head of Communications of the Best Lawyers, was the response rate at more than 60 percent. "We have our evaluation process over the past 26 years constantly refined in order to avoid manipulation," says Barr.

Besides the struggle for the professional reputation of many top law firms are currently engaged in restructuring. The financial crisis and the slump in M & A business has caught the industry economically difficult. Especially law firms that have concentrated in recent years in mergers and acquisitions and private equity, must change their business models.

Sales decline in Germany

Experts estimate that the revenues of law firms since 2009 have fallen by up to 30 percent. "Even makes a sales decline of 20 percent with a corresponding relationship between partners and salaried lawyers profits fell by 50 percent," says the consultant firm Vaagt Christoph from Munich. Nevertheless, the growth was broken in the legal market with an estimated turnover of around € 14 billion only a little. Need to establish, especially in advising the German export industry.

Especially here in the local lawyers, however, lose market share. Many companies are replacing external specialists for financial reasons by their own lawyers, says consultant Vaagt. He therefore expects that "any medium sized law firms that are not focused clearly under pressure".

More incentive fee

Gone are Vaagt that as the times have made the societies in which the companies in transactions for inexperienced young lawyers time high fees charged. The companies were only willing to pay for advice from experienced senior partners. According to the law firms Vaagt must increasingly adapt to lump sums and performance fee models.

This could in the years to split the legal services market. Specialized law firms with top advisers to occur with small teams and high hourly rates. Law firms, however, to treat with great personnel labor law, will be exposed to strong competition, it is likely to lead to greater efficiency.

Leo dust, law professor at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, is convinced, therefore, "The orientation of the large law firms on the challenges of this two-tier market is the strategic task of the near future to be."

Magna is not yet Karman roof section on

Der Autozulieferer Magna akzeptiert die Entscheidung des Kartellamts nicht. Quelle: ap

The auto supplier Magna does not accept the decision of the Competition Authority. Source: AP

GRAZ HANNOVER HB. The Canadian-Austrian auto supplier Magna is the battle for the Karmann-roof division after acquisition Prohibition by the Bundeskartellamt has not lost. "We hope that despite the veto of a majority of the Cartel Office Products Karmann to take on roofing systems, "said Magna Steyr CEO Günther Apfalter the "Automotive Week. Details call he did not. He hinted that the industry magazine, however, that The Karmann-roof division does not necessarily under the umbrella of the Magna Group should be located. "We always have a Plan B."

Even a ministerial approval by the Federal Minister of Economics includes Magna Steyr is not enough. "This is a scenario that happened can, "said Apfalter on the comments of Lower Saxony Prime Minister Christian Wulff (CDU). Wulff was disappointed to Cartel shown on the decision and said he would both a ministerial approval, as well as an action before the Check Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf leave.

The competition watchdog had justified her refusal so that the Concentration of Karmann and Magna in an already highly concentrated market would have meant that in Europe only two major suppliers of convertible roof systems exist. A could not allow such harm to competition man. "We are already somewhat perplexed that the Cartel Office in its ruling in any way relating to our response Magna has taken and decided against, "said Apfalter. There no realistic alternative. The Magna was the better solution for the customer and the location, as the Magna-Plan contains a Guarantee of employment for employees.

The union had the decision of the Cartel criticized. Lower Saxony’s IG Metall district head Hartmut I told the ‘Mirror': "This dogmatic decision is to Have consequences that now is exactly what will happen, what the Cartel tries to prevent. "The Karmann-roof section will now probably wound up, so also were only two large Manufacturer for convertible systems left: Magna and Webasto Edscha. There are approximately 700 jobs by Karmann in Osnabrück and in the Poland Zary. A purchase agreement with Magna was closed. According to reports, the price is € 20 million.