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Analytical Studies

Country Objectives for the Genoa Summit Meeting 2001
Germany

Contents:
Political Data
Economic Data
Summit Issues

Political Data

President: Johannes Rau - since 1 July 1999
Chancellor: Gerhard Schroeder (SPD)- since 1998
Foreign Affairs Minister: Joschka Fischer (Greens)
Minister of Justice: Herta Daubler-Gmelin (SPD)
Minister of Defense: Rudolf Scharping (SPD)
Economics Minister: Werner Muller (independent)
Finance Hans Minister: Eichel (SPD)
Environment Minister: Jurgen Trittin (Greens)
President of the central bank council: Ernst Welteke

Parliament

Legislative branch

Federal Assembly or Bundestag (656 seats usually, but 669 in 1998)

Party percent of vote by party Seats by party
SPD 40.9% 298
Alliance '90/Greens 6.7% 47
CDU/CSU 35.1% 245
FDP 6.2% 43
PDS 5.1% 36

Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 votes)
SPD-led states 26
CDU-led states 28
Grand coalitions 15

National Elections: every four years.
Most Recent Elections: September 27, 1998
Next Elections: September or October 2002

Economic Data

On June 26, 2001 the LFO institute announced a reduction in the growth expectancy of the German economy to 1.2 from the 2.1 per cent earlier predicted.

GDP: DM3.9trn (1999); US$2.1trn (1999)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.1% (2000), 1.5% (1999)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $22,700 (1999)
Current Account: -1.10(2000), -0.92 (1999)
Source: The Economist
Inflation: 1.4% (average, 1996-2000); 2.0% (average, 2000)
Current Inflation rate: 0.6% (consumer prices)
Unemployment rate: 10.5% (1999)
Bank Rate: 4.26% (May 2001)
Source: Bundesbank
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $5.6 billion (1998)
Currency: 1 deutsche mark (DM) = 100 pfennige, Euro
Exchange rates: Euros per US$1 -0.9867 (January 2000),
(DM) 2.10:US$1 (February 6th 2001), DM2.12:
US$1 (2000, average); 0.9386 (1999);

Note: on 1 January 1999, the EU introduced a common currency that is now being used by financial institutions in some member countries at a fixed rate of 1.95583 deutsche marks per euro; the euro will replace the local currency in consenting countries for all transactions in 2002

Summit Issues for Germany

Debt

Consistent with Germany's position since the Cologne Debt Initiative and the initial success of that initiative, Germany will support Italy's efforts to focus on debt relief at the summit through the "Beyond Debt Relief" Initiative. Germany will seek to support efforts at the summit to go beyond simply relieving debt and examine other issues which are pertinent to the long-term effects of debt. These include encouraging private investment in third world countries, promoting democracy, as well as narrowing the digital divide through developing initiatives such as the Digital Opportunities Task Force.

Environment

Always at the forefront of G8 efforts to solve environmental problems, Germany will once again be keen to discuss the environmental challenges facing the world today. Most prominently Germany will in all likelihood focus its efforts on climate change and reviving the Kyoto Protocol in the face of opposition from the Bush administration. Moreover in light of the last Foot and Mouth epidemic, Germany will also be interested in discussing the issue of worldwide agricultural export standards, as well as disease control.

Health

Germany will continue its efforts at looking at the situation in the Third World not only through debt but also on health issues. Germany will be keen to discuss the issue of AIDS in light of the conference taking place at the moment in Africa on the issue. Germany will discuss measures at curbing the spread of the epidemic as well as monetary issues on funding existing programs.

Security

With the Balkans increasingly slipping into inter-ethnic fighting in Macedonia, Germany will no doubt attempt to make the issue a top priority. Germany is increasingly cognizant of its commitments to both NATO and the EU, and will try to discuss measures in which both organizations can stay involved in solving the conflict. Germany will no doubt search for a firm American commitment to further participation in the Balkans.

Conflict Prevention

One of the major themes of the current Red-Green coalition's foreign policy, conflict prevention will once again be a concern for Germany at Genoa. Germany will no doubt examine the progress made on this issue in the past year, and push for further efforts in this field. Among the diverse issues of conflict prevention that Germany may try and push are the role of diamonds in fuelling civil war, the proliferation of small arms and restrictions on their exports, as well as development issues such as poverty reduction (one of Italy's main themes for the summit)

World Economy

Finally in light of current worldwide economic difficulties and the prospect of a worldwide economic slowdown, Germany will focus efforts on the world economy, in particular in developing the conditions in which to launch a new multilateral trade round within the WTO by the end of the year and encourage greater levels of private investment.

Prepared by: Andre Belelieu and Audrey Johnson

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