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Apr 25, 2013

Space junk needs to be removed from Earth’s orbit: ESA

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Space junk such as debris from rockets must be removed from the Earth’s orbit to avoid crashes that could cost satellite operators millions of euros and knock out mobile and GPS networks, the European Space Agency said.

At the current density of debris, there will be an in-orbit collision about every five years, however research presented at a conference hosted by ESA in Germany showed that an increase in such junk made more collisions likely in the future.

Apr 17, 2013

Lufthansa threatened with strikes as union rejects wage offer

FRANKFURT, April 17 (Reuters) – Deutsche Lufthansa
was threatened with a second round of strikes as labour union
Verdi, representing thousands of staff at the airline, rejected
as “unacceptable” an offer for wage increases from the company.

Lufthansa offered to raise salaries by 1.2 percent from
October this year and a further 0.5 percent a year later, in a
deal that would run for 29 months and would not contain job
guarantees, a spokeswoman for Verdi said on Wednesday.

Apr 8, 2013

German output rises moderately as industry recovers

BERLIN/HANOVER, April 8 (Reuters) – German industrial output
rose in February and industry leaders were cautiously optimistic
about growth and investment in Europe’s largest economy this
year as long as there is no flare-up in the euro zone crisis.

Coming on the heels of figures showing a
stronger-than-expected rise in industrial orders in February,
Economy Ministry data on Monday showed output edging up 0.5
percent on the month. This was above the mid-range forecast in a
Reuters poll of economists for a 0.3 percent rise.

Apr 7, 2013

Russia needs active civil society, Merkel tells Putin

HANOVER, Germany, April 7 (Reuters) – Russian President
Vladimir Putin arrived in Germany on Sunday to protests over his
human rights and democracy record and a warning from German
Chancellor Angela Merkel that Russia needed an active civil
society to flourish.

Putin’s visit to Germany and the Netherlands, Moscow’s
biggest trade partners in Europe, was supposed to focus on trade
but comes at awkward time just weeks after a wave of state
inspections of foreign-funded non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) in Russia, much criticised abroad.

Mar 26, 2013

Shale gas lures global manufacturers to US industrial revival

FRANKFURT/VIENNA, March 26 (Reuters) – When Wolfgang Eder
and his team started looking around for a site for a new plant
for Voestalpine, the Austrian steelmaker he heads,
they had 17 sites in eight countries on their list.

This month, after more than a year of looking, they settled
on the U.S. state of Texas, after a boom in the production of
natural gas from shale extraction brought gas prices down to
just a quarter of what companies paid in Europe.

Mar 20, 2013

Strike prompts Lufthansa to cancel 500-plus flights

FRANKFURT, March 20 (Reuters) – Deutsche Lufthansa
has cancelled more than 500 flights after German union Verdi
called on 33,000 workers at the company to go on strike on
Thursday over a wage dispute.

The strike is expected to last for about five hours from 5am
(0400 GMT), the union said on Wednesday, setting the stage for
the next round of wage talks on Friday.

Mar 19, 2013

ThyssenKrupp plans $1.3 billion-plus share sale: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to raise over 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in a share sale to bolster its finances after winning over its biggest investor to the plan, a newspaper reported, sending the steelmaker’s stock sliding.

ThyssenKrupp has struggled to reduce its debts with a flagging European economy hitting demand for steel, and has suffered massive losses from a project in the Americas.

Mar 14, 2013

Lufthansa sees profit gains held back by revamp costs

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Europe’s biggest airline by revenue, said a tough economic outlook and restructuring costs would limit operating profit growth this year and next.

European carriers including Lufthansa, Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and British Airways (ICAG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are slashing jobs and shelving growth plans as they grapple with soaring jet fuel prices, a weak economy and fierce competition from low-cost carriers and Middle East airlines.

Mar 12, 2013

Fraport expects zero passenger growth at Frankfurt hub

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) – German airport operator
Fraport predicted zero growth in passenger numbers at
its main Frankfurt hub this year and lower net profit as a weak
economic climate prompts airlines to reduce capacity.

Fraport, whose biggest customer is German flagship carrier
Lufthansa, said on Tuesday net profit would shrink
this year from the 238 million euros ($310 million) reported for
2012.

Mar 11, 2013

ThyssenKrupp investors want a chairman independent of top shareholder

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, March 11 (Reuters) – Shareholders at
ThyssenKrupp AG want a new chairman independent of the
Krupp Foundation, its major stakeholder, in order to keep
management at Germany’s biggest steelmaker on a tighter leash
after a series of botched investments.

Chairman Gerhard Cromme unexpectedly quit on Friday after
coming under fire over cartel investigations and a failed
multibillion-euro project in the Americas.