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Germany has and continues to be a mass supporter of immigration for refugees seeking asylum. According to the The Economist ‘between 800,000 and 1.5 refugees will arriving in Germany this year.’ The article goes onto explain the process in which refugees are integrated into society and that if a refugee can proof themselves fit and literate to work they are able to after three months. Those who cannot work often end up on welfare benefits from the German government with 23% claiming the allowance from July 2014 to July 2015. Whilst the majority are happy with Germany’s approach, on Saturday, Angela Merkel the German Chancellor, met with Mr ‘Seehofer, who heads the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)’s Bavarian sister party’ to discuss his criticism of Germany’s stance on immigration. Bavaria as Bloomberg news describes ‘is the main gateway to Germany for refugees pouring over the border from Austria and Seehofer had said the Bavarian state government would take unspecified action if Merkel didn’t meet his demands to curb the number of migrants’, hence Saturday’s talks. As a result of the meeting there were two main outcomes. Firstly the two countries have agreed to control immigration and secondly those who are omitted into the country need to be helped to integrate into society.

European Union

There has been a lot of speculation since the elections about Cameron’s manifesto for a new deal for the UK and their partnership with Europe. The BBC comments how ‘Cameron has yet to show his hand publicly’ however, it is expected that the these claims will be revealed in the next few weeks when Cameron writes his letter to Donald Tusk, the European Council President. The BBC further explores the options the UK has and the approaches it could take if it votes to leave the European Union. These include according to the BBC:

  • ‘The Norwegian model: Britain leaves the EU and joins the European Economic Area, giving it access to the single market, with the exception of some financial services, but freeing it from EU rules on agriculture, fisheries, justice and home affairs.’
  • ‘The Swiss model: Britain emulates Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU but negotiates trade treaties on a sector-by-sector basis.’
  • ‘The Turkish model: The UK could enter into a customs union with the EU, allowing access to the free market in manufactured goods but not financial services.’
  • Today, George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, commented on how Germany and Britain’s economies are the ‘heart of Europe’. The BBC records Osborne describing the power of the two economies as he states, "Together we make the world's third-largest economy, behind only America and China, and since the crisis ended, we have generated two-thirds of EU growth.” In light of his comments would leaving the EU be beneficial or detrimental to the UK economy? The question still remains.


    Amazon over the last few years has received much criticism for paying very little corporation tax. The online retailer alongside eBay is now facing, according to the BBC bills ‘for billions of pounds in unpaid VAT’. This will be the outcome if both Amazon and eBay are using suppliers who are evading tax. Nonetheless, whether the two online retailers will be liable will firstly depend on whether they are investigated and also how many controls and how much access investigators are given to information.

    In other business news, Deutsche Bank is reportedly going to cut 15,000 jobs which is just under 15% of the total employees. This comes as a result of further losses in quarter 3 of 2015 which numbered £4.3 billion according to the BBC.

    With 2015 being a big year for mergers and acquisitions it appears another union may be formed between Pharmaceutical firms Allergan and Pfizer. Allergan confirmed the talks last Thursday and Bloomberg reports that the two firms are ‘hoping to agree a deal before Thanksgiving.’ CNBC reports on the patterns in mergers within the US a over the last year with ‘$850 billion worth of deals in the sector…as cash-rich companies either try to fix their pipelines or save on U.S. taxes by doing a tax inversion, where they exploit loopholes in America's tax system by buying smaller rivals based abroad and redomiciling themselves.’ It will inevitably be interesting to see whether the deal closes at such a short deadline.

    UK Economy

    George Osborne was defeated at the start of last week as he raised the issue of tax credits in the House of Lords. The bill to cut child benefits and workers’ credit has been rejected as according to the BBC this will cost low income families £1300. The Conservative defeat obviously is welcomed by the Labour party but has since raised issues with regard to the position of the House of Lords.

    Meanwhile, UK house prices continue to rise with Nationwide reporting a 3.9% increase over the last year. The BBC captures the report stating that ‘property values were up by 0.6% compared with September’ with ‘the cost of the average home at £196,807’, with London homes reportedly worth just under half a million pounds. UBS, the Swiss Bank has warned that ‘the London housing market has formed the world’s biggest house price bubble.’ Only time will tell as to whether this housing price bubble will remain or whether it will burst.

    Global News

    A lot has been occurring outside of Europe this week with manufacturing superpower, China reporting further manufacturing losses and also putting an end to its one child policy. The fallout of the announcement of China’s end to the one child policy has resulted in many reports with regard to the emotional impact as well as the true results of what the end to the policy means. With the country already over supplied with labour it will be interesting to see whether the previous restrictions actually helped China in terms of reducing poverty or whether the Chinese government were reasoned to introduce the policy?

    On the US front, last week it was reported that the economy has slowed. The BBC reports that ‘Gross domestic product grew at an annualised pace of 1.5% between July and September, according to the Department of Commerce, down from a rate of 3.9% in the second quarter.’ These rates come as a bit of a surprise considering increased spending over the last few months. With the two biggest economies slowing down is this foreshadowing the rest of the world’s future growth?