Pictured: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks at a CDU party conference in December 2014. Kramp-Karrenbauer may be in line to be the next German chancellor. Photo credit: Olaf Kosinsky (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)
Saarland premier, EIB investments, French wolf plan: European and international stories making headlines.
Merkel taps Saarland leader
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, premier of the neighbouring German state of Saarland, has been nominated to be secretary general of Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, reports the Financial Times. That potentially puts Kramp-Karrenbauer on the path to replace Merkel as Germany’s federal chancellor. Kramp-Karrenbauer has led Saarland since 2011.
EIB defence investment pressure
The European Investment Bank is being pushed to invest more in defence, writes Bloomberg. The EIB, which is based in Kirchberg and owned by all EU member states, can only back “dual use” technologies that have both civilian and military applications, such as cybersecurity and satellites. A group led by France wants to expand the development bank’s scope, says the news service, while Nordic countries are opposed.
Sustainable funds more stable: Morningstar
Sustainable funds performed better against the recent stock market volatility, Morningstar, a fund research firm, has found, as reported by the financial news site Marketwatch. The S&P stock index fell 7.2% at the beginning of the month, but among equity funds weighted towards companies which score better on environment, social and corporate governance issues, “65% outperformed their peers”, according to Morningstar’s Jon Hale.
“Congo is four times the size of France but has less paved road than Luxembourg,” observes The Economist in a briefing on rising instability in Congo.
French wolf plan
In a move angering farmers, the French government plans to let the country’s wolf population rise 40%, to around 500, by 2023, according to the AFP. Wolves “have been blamed for an explosion in the number of attacks on livestock in mountainous areas”, including the loss of 10,000 sheep in the Alps region in 2016, notes the news agency. Hunting eliminated wolves in France in the 1930s; they returned via Italy in the 1990s. Wolves returned to Luxembourg last year after a 124 year absence.