Volker Wieland: "Germany has to adjust its business model" ("BBC World")

The German economy should be better prepared for future challenges - otherwise its business model could be obsolete, Volker Wieland warned in an interview with the radio station BBC World. "We're getting to a point where we should be more careful than the German government is", he said. The increasing tax income from the economic boom had not been used for investing but for generous social policies.

"This is dangerous because you don't know whether the German business model is going to last", Wieland criticized. "We're selling cars now but are we ready to adjust in time if demand from around the world changes?", he warned, pointing out that Germany was not at the forefront of electric cars. A business model with a large exposure to exports would cause a sensitivity to a downturn. "If there is a recession, Germany might be hard hit", Wieland warned. Also regarding internet and software companies, Germany was not in a leading position. "With SAP we only have one company that is a worldwide leader".

Concerning the future of the European Union and the euro area, Wieland remains confident. Brexit was an enormous challenge, just like the need to make the euro stable for the future. "The euro is an experiment", he said. "We only have the option to make the euro work in a group of fairly sovereign nations". Responsibility and control had to in the hands of the right institutions. "And every member state has to be responsible for paying for the policies".


BBC World, Business Daily: Europe's Future - Germany (12:00 until 15:00 min)