Hungary’s authoritarian leader won’t attend soccer game against Germany amid spat over his anti-LGBTQ law

FILE PHOTO: Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban holds a joint news conference with Slovakia's Prime Minister Igor Matovic (not pictured) in Budapest, Hungary, June 12, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
Hungary’s PM Orban and Slovakia’s PM Matovic hold joint news conference in Budapest

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban canceled a trip to Munich for a Germany-Hungary soccer game.
  • Orban is facing heavy criticism over an anti-LGBTQ law recently passed in Hungary.
  • German soccer clubs plan to illuminate their stadiums with rainbow colors during the game.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hungary’s authoritarian leader Viktor Orban canceled a trip to Munich for the Euro 2020 soccer match between Hungary and Germany on Wednesday, German news agency dpa reported, amid backlash over an anti-LGBTQ law that human rights groups have decried as homophobic.

The Hungarian prime minister scrapped plans to travel to Germany as outcry grew after the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) – Europe’s soccer governing body – denied Munich’s request to illuminate its stadium with rainbow colors during the match with Hungary as a sign of solidarity with the LGBTQ community. UEFA justified the move by contending illuminating the stadium in those colors would be too political.

“UEFA, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must decline this request,” UEFA said in a statement.

The UEFA decision sparked outrage across Germany, and soccer clubs in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Wolfsburg, and Augsburg announced plans to illuminate their stadiums with rainbow colors during the game on Wednesday, per NPR News.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter condemned UEFA over the decision, calling it “shameful.” Reiter said a wind turbine close to the stadium would be illuminated instead.

Orban on Wednesday urged German politicians to accept UEFA’s decision.

“Whether the Munich football stadium or another European stadium is lit in rainbow colors is not a state decision,” Orban told dpa.

The anti-LGBTQ law at the heart of these tensions, which passed in the Hungarian parliament last week, bans sharing any content with minors that portrays or is perceived as promoting homosexuality or sex reassignment. Critics say the law conflates homosexuality with pedophilia.

“Initially designed to strengthen legal protections against pedophilia and sexual crimes against children, last minute modifications … transformed the bill into a tool to persecute and stigmatize LGBT people, posing a risk to their safety and well-being and severely curtailing free speech,” according to Human Rights Watch. “When it enters into effect, children will not be able to access inclusive sexuality education, and accurate public information on LGBT issues will be a thing of the past.”

The law has been denounced by 17 EU governments, including Germany. Hungary is also part of the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers, “I consider this law to be wrong and incompatible with my understanding of politics,” the Associated Press reported.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said the bill is a “shame.”

“This bill clearly discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation,” von der Leyen added. “It goes against the fundamental values of the European Union: human dignity, equality and respect for human rights.”

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Deutsche Bank’s UK boss says she wants investment banking graduates in the office 5 days a week, even as the company moves to flexible working

Deutsche Bank UK and Ireland CEO Tiina Lee next to a picture of a man outside the bank's office
Deutsche Bank UK and Ireland CEO Tiina Lee.

  • Tiina Lee, Deutsche Bank’s UK CEO, told Insider she wants graduates in the office five days a week.
  • The bank is adopting a hybrid work model that lets most employees work from home three days a week.
  • Lee said graduates learn more from speaking to their team in the office, rather than over video calls.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tiina Lee, CEO of Deutsche Bank UK and Ireland, wants investment banking graduates to be in the office five days a week, even as the company adopts a hybrid-working model.

“My personal view in terms of grads and interns is that they should want to spend as much time in the office as they possibly can,” Lee said in an interview with Insider.

“Actually, I would like to see our grads in the office five days a week,” she added, specifically referring to those in investment banking. Working from the office full-time will not be mandatory for all these graduates.

As part of its flexible-work model, Deutsche Bank is planning to let most staff work from home for up to three days a week.

Essential staff have been working from the bank’s offices throughout the pandemic. The lender hopes to get more staff back to the office when COVID-19 restrictions ease in England. This was due to happen on June 21, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed the plan by four weeks because of rising infections.

Some staff in Deutsche Bank’s investment banking sector, including traders, would be expected in the office every day once coronavirus restrictions lift in England – this includes graduates, Deutsche Bank confirmed to Insider.

Other investment banking staff aside from traders may not have to come into the office full-time, Deutsche Bank said, adding that the rules depended on government guidance. When asked, it declined to say which departments this policy covered.

For graduates in these departments, coming into the office every day would not be mandatory, it said. Graduates in departments working under a hybrid model would work at least two days a week in the office.

Lee, who has worked at the bank for around 24 years, said investment banking graduates can benefit more from the scheme and mentorship of senior staff if they’re in the office.

Graduates learn more if they’re able to talk and directly ask questions to their boss and colleagues, compared with doing so over video calls, Lee said.

But Lee said some graduate training sessions worked better over video calls, especially in their first year, Lee said. “I think it’s super important for our junior population to be in the office, but it’s only helpful if they’re around seniors that are able to oversee what it is they’re doing,” she said.

“Where there are opportunities to speak to business leaders and infrastructure leaders, I think those types of conversations are always best done in person,” she said.

Citing a survey of Deutsche Bank’s summer interns in the UK, Lee said 75% of the respondents wanted to be in the office. The remaining 25% wanted to be in the bank but couldn’t because of travel restrictions, she said.

In the US, 92% of summer interns elected to work from one of the bank’s offices, according to an internal memo to US employees seen by Insider.

Deutsche Bank is encouraging all its staff to spend as much time in the office as they can, Lee said. She works from home once a week.

In a separate internal memo to UK employees seen by Insider, Lee said being back in the office “will be an opportunity to meet, manage and learn in person and further develop all-important contacts across the organisation, particularly with our summer interns and other new joiners to the bank.”

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The end of the Trump presidency brought the US one of its biggest spikes in global approval ratings on record

Biden
President Joe Biden waves as he walks on the Ellipse after stepping off Marine One on May 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

  • The US’ global image has rebounded under President Joe Biden.
  • Pew Research Center surveyed adults in 16 countries, including Canada, Japan and the UK.
  • More people expressed confidence in Biden as a leader compared with Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The global image of the United States has vastly improved since President Joe Biden took office compared to all-time low ratings under former President Donald Trump’s leadership, new data released by Pew Research Center on Thursday shows.

Pew Research Center polled people in 16 countries and the results show a major shift in public attitudes after Trump left the White House.

The US’ average favorability rating increased by 28 percentage points this year – one of the biggest spikes on record since Pew started polling more than two decades ago. The number jumped from 34% in 2020 to 62% this year.

In six countries – France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands and Canada – positive opinions of the US grew by at least 25 percentage points, returning to the high ratings seen during the Obama era.

Overall trust in the US president within the international community hit historic lows under Trump. The Pew study showed that with Biden, the numbers have rebounded to pre-Trump levels.

Around 75% of people surveyed expressed confidence in Biden to do the right thing when it comes to world affairs. A year ago, only 17% said the same for Trump.

Public confidence was particularly high among the US’ European allies. In Germany, 78% of respondents expressed confidence in Biden as a leader compared to just 10% who said so about Trump last year.

Biden was sworn in after a tumultuous year in which the US faced a raging pandemic, weakened economy, and a chaotic 2020 presidential election, leading to an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

Pew surveyed 16,254 adults from March 12 to May 26, 2021.

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Why the Nürburgring is considered the world’s most dangerous racetrack

  • In the small town of Nürburg, Germany, sits the legendary race course known as “The Green Hell.”
  • The Nürburgring is an iconic racetrack, with its terrifying twists, blind corners, and drops.
  • June 3, 2021, marks the beginning of the famed 24-hour Nürburgring endurance race.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: The Nürburgring. If you’ve spent any time reading about cars, you’ve probably heard the term. What is it? It’s a merciless 13-mile track with terrifying twists, turns, and dips, and arguably the most dangerous race course in the world. But it’s become a sort of holy destination for drivers, professional and amateur, who make the pilgrimage to the small town of Nurburg, Germany.

Since its construction in 1927, the ‘Ring’ has tragically claimed the lives of just under 70 motorsport heroes. Legendary Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart famously crowned the track ‘The Green Hell’, a nickname it holds to this day. But just what makes the Nürburgring so brutal?

The Nürburgring is actually composed of two different courses, but it’s the site’s Northern Loop or ‘Nordschleife’ that most associate with the track. As the world’s longest racetrack, the Nordschleife remains the ultimate test of skill amongst professional drivers competing in extreme races like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring endurance race.

A closer look at the track reveals three things that make it such a challenge even for the most skilled drivers: the steep elevation changes, blind corners, and the lack of runoff areas.

Let’s start with the elevation changes. For an idea of just how severe the Nürburgring’s are, the total difference in altitude from the track’s highest point to its lowest is a jaw-dropping 985 feet. And it doesn’t occur gradually either. The shifts in elevation are abrupt and spontaneous, providing plenty of challenges for those who don’t know the track thoroughly, and even those who do.

One of the best examples of this happens fairly early in the track, at a section known as ‘Fox Hole’. This section features five sweeping corners that can be taken at full speed! But it’s at the last corner when the track goes into a steep downhill descent then immediately elevates that you feel more G-Forces than you’ve ever felt.

To better understand what driving through it is like,we caught up with someone who circles the Ring over 1,000 times every year. Misha Charoudin is a racecar driver, course instructor, and YouTuber who knows every inch of the track like the back of his hand. He’s even managed to guide a driver around it while completely blindfolded!

Misha Charoudin: You have Fox Hole. It’s a very, very downhill descent followed by instant climb and what a lot of people do is they think like, “Oh, let me see what the top speed of my car is because I’m going downhill now.” And then they brake at the lowest point. The issue here is the weight transfer. When you brake at the complete bottom you have the weight transfer ready because the car will change direction from going downhill to uphill, and when you apply the brakes on that, you will most likely end up in the barrier.

Narrator: But it’s near the Ring’s end that drivers face one of the most daunting sections of racetrack in the world when it comes to elevation change. Located 10.5 miles into the track is a section called Pflanzgarten. Known for its number of career ending accidents, there is zero room for error on this series of jumps and turns where drivers will find it nearly impossible not to go airborne.

Misha: So, you actually literally your car jump three times over I would say a period of one minute. Your car will be airborne one time straight before the braking zone, one time you will go a bit sideways maybe even in the air as well, and one time you will be going over 120 mph over a slight bump while changing direction. So when you have a mistake there it will usually end up in a very, very – let’s say track closure. People will have to close the track how bad of an accident it’s going to be.

Narrator: But it isn’t simply jumps and drops that cause so many accidents on the Nürburgring. On a 13-mile track made up of around 170 different tight corners, about 90% of them are blind. The Ring’s infamous turn they call Kallenhard, about 5 miles into the track, is the perfect example of just how blind these corners can be.

Misha: It’s difficult because it’s very blind and it gets very tight. It has a very very very late apex, and people just dont expect that. Because they think, “Well, the turn should be over now.” No, it gets tighter, tighter, tighter, and it’s very blind. And you see a lot of accidents happen there. So you have to stay very slow, very much on the outside, slow feet fast hands, and get it right. And this is something that people really mess up. So this is I would say in terms the blind corners, Kallenhard is definitely one of the most challenging ones.

Narrator: It’s also the lack of sufficient runoff areas that separates the Nürburgring from the rest of the world’s professional racetracks. While most courses feature plenty of zones for out of control vehicles to safely depart from the track, less than a handful of corners at the Nürburgring have what could even be considered runoff areas. For the majority of the course, drivers will find that there is less than a meter separating the track from the barriers. This means that even the slightest mistakes can result in cars smashing into the walls.

But as intimidating a track like the Green Hell can be, Misha has a few simple words of advice for those everyday drivers looking to tackle the Ring for their very first time.

Misha: I always say you can not impress here anyone after 93 years of history, but you can make everybody laugh. So make sure to be the person that does not make us laugh after ending up on YouTube for some bad crash video.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in September 2019.

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Europe has fined Google $10 billion in recent years. Now Germany is investigating whether its data slurping gives it an unfair advantage.

Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive, is facing up to another antitrust case.

  • German officials have launched a fresh antitrust investigation into Google’s business practices.
  • The tech giant has been fined more than $10 billion by European legislators in recent years.
  • Germany’s FCO said Google’s data collection practices gave it a ‘strategic advantage.’
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Google is facing yet another antitrust probe in Europe, after German authorities announced they were investigating whether the firm’s data collection practices give it an unfair advantage.

On Tuesday morning, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO) issued a statement saying it would investigate Google’s business practices in line with a recent amendment to German law, which enables it to “intervene earlier and more effectively … against the practices of large digital companies.”

The watchdog said that Google’s panoply of essential digital services, such as search, YouTube, Maps, Android, and Chrome, it “could be considered to be of paramount significance for competition across markets.”

FCO president Andreas Mundt added that the probes would take into account “whether consumers wishing to use Google’s services have sufficient choice as to how Google will use their data.”

The FCO is running two simultaneous investigations to that end, one against Google Germany, and one against its European HQ in Ireland.

Changes to German competition law has enabled authorities to be more proactive in their scrutiny of tech giants, with the FCO also launching probes into Facebook and Amazon’s business practices in recent months.

The European Union has hit the tech giant with more than $10 billion in fines over the past few years, and launched a further two probes into its advertising practices on the continent earlier this year.

The European Commission has previously fined Google for anti-competitive behaviour three times in as many years: first for $2.7 billion in 2017, again for $5 billion in 2018, and once more for $1.7 billion in 2019. The firm has repeatedly rejected the EU’s findings, however, and met officials in court to appeal the first fine in February 2020.

Insider approached Google for comment.

Are you a current or former Googler with more to share? You can contact this reporter securely using the encrypted messaging app Signal (+447801985586) or email (mcoulter@businessinsider.com). Reach out using a nonwork device.

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Germany is not happy with Biden’s support for waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents, predicting ‘severe complications’

merkel vaccine
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

  • Biden’s support for waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents has had a mixed reaction from EU countries.
  • A spokesperson for the German government said it would cause “severe complications,” per Bloomberg.
  • Experts have said lifting vaccine patents may not be that effective in easing global shortages.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Germany pushed back Thursday against President Joe Biden’s support for a patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines, one of the first rich nations to explicitly oppose the move.

A spokesperson for the German government said waiving patents would cause “severe complications” for vaccine production in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The US announced its support for the move on Wednesday, following pressure from more than 100 developing-world countries at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Several EU countries and the UK had been against the move. Those nations previously blocked discussion of a patent waiver at the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) council, according to Foreign Policy.

The same countries – which have some of the world’s best vaccine supplies and largest pharmaceutical companies – had a mixed reaction to the US announcement.

A spokesperson for the German federal government said Thursday: “The US suggestion for the lifting of patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines has significant implications for vaccine production as a whole,” according to Deutsche Welle (DW).

“The protection of intellectual property is a source of innovation and must remain so in the future,’ the statement said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU Commission, told an online conference that the bloc is “ready to discuss” the US proposals, DW reported.

“Our priority is to ramp up production to achieve global vaccination,” she wrote in a tweet. “At the same time we are open to discuss any other effective and pragmatic solution. In this context we are ready to assess how the US proposal could help achieve that objective.”

French President Emmanuel Macron had in the past objected to the waiver. But after the US announcement he changed tack, and said he was “absolutely in favor,” France24 reported.

A French government spokesperson sounded a note of caution about how helpful a waiver might be, however. The spokesperson argued that there are more important problems in vaccinating the world, namely limited production capacity and ingredients, Reuters reported.

The official added: “I would remind you that it is the United States that has not exported a single dose to other countries, and is now talking about lifting the patents.”

The temporary suspension of vaccine patents is just one piece of the puzzle, and would not by itself solve the world’s shortages, as Insider’s Allison DeAngelis has reported.

Pharmaceutical companies have long argued that removing patents diminishes the incentive for companies to take the financial risks of developing new treatments in the first place.

Beyond that, there is a great deal of expertise and technology needed to boost production beyond the patented information itself, as one expert told DeAngelis.

“Opening the patents is like disclosing a high quality chef’s shopping list,” said Jacob Becraft, CEO of mRNA startup Strand Therapeutics. “You can figure out exactly where they get their truffles from, their high quality pork. But you’re never going to replicate their menu.”

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel was nonplussed by Biden’s announcement, saying it would not affect the company’s bottom line.

“I didn’t lose a minute of sleep over the news during the night,” he said during Moderna’s first-quarter earnings statement.

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Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi got into a Twitter spat with a rival food delivery CEO over plans to launch Uber Eats in Germany

Dara Khosrowshahi
  • Uber Eats is expanding into Germany, starting with Berlin, over the next few weeks.
  • The news prompted a Twitter spat between the CEOs of Uber and Just Eat Takeaway.
  • Uber’s head of delivery called Germany “strategically important” in the company’s push for profitability.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The CEO of Uber got into a feisty Twitter exchange on Wednesday with a food delivery service rival.

After announcing that Uber Eats will expand into Germany – and a 5.4% drop in the stock of market-leader Just Eat Takeaway – the Dutch company’s CEO, Jitse Groen, insinuated Uber’s strategy was to “depress our share price.”

“Advice: pay a little less attention to your short term stock price and more attention to your Tech and Ops,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi replied.

Groen shot back: “Start paying taxes, minimum wage and social security premiums before giving a founder advice on how he should run his business.”

Neither company immediately responded to a request for comment on the exchange.

Just Eat Takeaway enjoys a dominant position in Germany after it acquired a local business in 2018, according to Bloomberg. The company also beat out Uber in a recent deal with GrubHub that will give the European company a major slice of the US food delivery market.

Across Europe, 24 million people used Uber Eats to order meals last year, but Just Eat Takeaway’s dominance in Germany suggests there’s room for Uber to expand there. Uber says it will start offering deliveries in Berlin in the coming weeks.

Uber’s head of delivery told the Financial Times that Germany is a “strategically important country” in the company’s push to profitability, and that Just Eat Takeaway’s fees are “extraordinarily high.”

“That translates into consumers and merchants actually being quite desperate for additional options,” he said.

Part of the challenge for Uber will be adapting its delivery model to a fleet management system in order to comply with German labor laws. Under that system, Uber pays a partner company that hires and pays drivers, as opposed to the independent gig-worker model that is common in the US.

Uber, which has expanded from ride-hailing to food delivery, package delivery, and courier service, is scheduled to release its earnings on May 5.

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The US is sending 500 extra troops to Germany, Defense Secretary Austin says, as Russia amasses troops at Europe’s border

Lloyd Austin
Lloyd Austin.

  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the US will station 500 more troops in Germany.
  • He said this would “strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe.”
  • It comes as Russia strengthens its military force at the Ukraine border.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday that the US will station 500 more troops in Germany.

He said that this would “strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe.”

He made the announcement during a trip to Berlin, and said that the troops could arrive as soon as the fall, according to Axios.

The announcement comes as Russia builds up its troop presence at its border with Ukraine, prompting fears among NATO countries.

The strategy contrasts with that of former President Donald Trump, who tried to withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany before it was halted by President Joe Biden.

Ukraine has estimated that 80,000 Russian troops have now amassed on its border and Crimea.

Ukraine also says Russian President Vladimir Putin is ignoring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s requests to communicate, though the Kremlin denied receiving such requests.

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Germany is about to unveil a plan to rebuild Beirut port – but it’ll only happen if Lebanon roots out corruption: report

Beirut port blast damage
A general view shows the damage at the site of the blast in Beirut’s port area, Lebanon August 5, 2020

  • Germany is poised to present a plan to rebuild Beirut port, sources have told Reuters.
  • Lebanon remains in political and economic crisis since the port was rocked by a massive explosion.
  • Any funding offered for the project would be contingent on the country forming a stable government, sources told Reuters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Germany plans to unveil a massive project to reconstruct the port of Beirut, but it would be conditional on Lebanon addressing rampant government corruption, sources have told Reuters.

The multi-billion-dollar reconstruction plan, which has not yet been financed, would be designed to attract cash from bodies such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sources told the news agency on Thursday.

Beirut’s port suffered catastrophe in August last year, when 2,750 tons of improperly-stored ammonium nitrate exploded, killing at least 100 people. The massive explosion, whose effects could be felt miles away, devastated much of the city.

The explosive material had been impounded after being seized from an abandoned cargo ship in 2014, and remained in storage until it ignited in the horrifying event, as Insider reported.

The country, which was already in the midst of a financial crisis, was left reeling.

Beirut
A view of the partially destroyed Beirut neighbourhood of Mar Mikhael on August 5, 2020 in the aftermath of a massive explosion in the Lebanese capital.

Two diplomatic sources with knowledge of the plans, who Reuters did not name, said the German government will make a multi-billion dollar proposal to rebuild the port and its surrounding area on April 7.

A senior Lebanese official, also unnamed, confirmed to the outlet that Germany was preparing a proposal for the port.

The German foreign ministry did not respond to Insider’s request for comment, nor to one from Reuters.

Both Germany and France have been competing for the opportunity to become involved, Reuters said. In February, a German company was assigned to safely remove the hazardous materials that remain at the port, as Voice of America reported.

Germany’s offer, which would cost between $5-15 billion, does not have financing yet – and to get it, the country must form a government capable of fending off financial collapse, the sources told Reuters.

There would be “strings attached,” one source said.

“Germany and France want first to see a government in place committed to implementing reforms,” the source added. “There is no other way around it and this is good for Lebanon.”

An EIB spokesperson told Reuters no funding had been confirmed, adding the bank “stands ready” to help – as long as due diligence was followed.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, Lebanon’s entire government quit, as the BBC reported at the time. Its cabinet has stayed on in a caretaker capacity, but Prime Minister designate Saad al-Hariri and President Michel Aoun have not been able to form a cabinet, Reuters reported.

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Amazon is hiring 5,000 new employees in Germany, with some roles paying up to $82,000 per year

This picture shows the logo of US online retail giant Amazon at the distribution center in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on December 17, 2019.
The company recently expanded its logistics empire to cope with rising demand over the holiday season.

  • Amazon will hire 5,000 more permanent employees in Germany in areas from shipping to marketing.
  • In a press release, the company said it encouraged applications from those seeking job security.
  • Entry-level Amazon logistics wages range from $13.25 to $14.90 per hour but are location-dependent.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon already has 23,000 employees in Germany but is now looking to add more people to its workforce.

The delivery giant said in a press release on Friday that it would hire another 5,000 staff in areas from shipping to marketing.

Most Amazon employees work in logistics, where entry-level wages range from $13.25 to $14.90 gross per hour depending on the location. Germany’s current minimum wage is $11.14 per hour but will rise to $12.26 by July 2022.

At its logistics center in Sülzetal near Magdeburg, the minimum is $13.92 per hour; in Koblenz, it is $14.19; at the air freight handling facility in Leipzig it’s $15.83. Wages automatically rise after 12 and 24 months.

After two years, employees earned an average of around $3,500 gross per month including restricted employee shares, according to Amazon. There were bonus payments and other benefits.

It hasn’t been an easy year for the German branch of Amazon, with workers striking in June over rising COVID-19 infections at the company and again in October after their COVID-19 bonus payments were scrapped.

German trade union Verdi called for a four-day strike at Easter to demand a pay rise for workers in the retail and mail-order sectors. Amazon has also been subjected to an antitrust investigation over relationships with its third-party sellers in Germany.

In its press release, Amazon said it was calling for applications from those worried about the future of their jobs and was recruiting from a wide range of sectors.

Amazon Logistics Center
Amazon has 15 logistics centers spread across Germany.

“This is a great opportunity for career changers because we are open to a wide range of talents and qualifications,” said Amazon Germany country manager Ralf Kleber.

The company’s German headquarters are located in Munch while its research and development center is in Berlin. There are also a total of 15 logistics centers spread across the country.

Amazon itself does not provide any information about the salaries offered to employees in other sectors. According to employer rating portal Kununu, customer service employees earn about the same as their colleagues in warehouse and shipping.

Kununu’s data showed an account manager at Amazon earned almost $67,000 per year while a marketing officer earned around $62,000 and a human resources officer around $60,000.

According to Glassdoor, software engineers earn significantly more with a salary of over $82,000.

The company recently expanded its logistics empire to cope with rising demand over the holiday season and its delivery service could be worth up to $230 billion by 2025, according to Bank of America estimates.

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