July 9, 2020

Discontent arises in Bavaria, for years model of safety and well-being

Discontent arises in Bavaria, for years model of safety and well-being



Bavaria, one of the richest regions in Germany with unemployment of 2.8%, the lowest in the country, and a growth of 2.8% last year, has long been a model of safety and well-being, but now discontent appears in part of the population.

The free state of Bavaria, in the southeast of the country, is the largest federal state in Germany in size and has a population of 13 million inhabitants.

Seven companies listed on the DAX 30 index, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, are based in Munich: the BMW automobile group, the Siemens technology and industrial group, the semiconductor producer Infineon, the industrial gas manufacturer Linde, the insurer Allianz and the reinsurer Münchener Rück, and the electronic payment systems company Wirecard.

Adidas and Puma are also headquartered in Bavaria and Amazon, Microsoft or Google have their representation in Germany in Munich, the city with the highest housing prices.

The region has an investment share of more than 22% in the last three years.

30% of the added value of the Bavarian industry depends on the motor sector, which must face important changes in the coming years because new technologies such as electrification, automation and the car's Internet connection are imposed, as well as other forms of mobility such as carpool.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of Bavaria is almost 595,000 million euros, only ahead of North Rhine Westphalia, which with 18 million inhabitants is the federal state with the highest GDP in absolute terms, of 692,000 million euros

The GDP per capita of Bavaria is 45,810 euros, third behind Bremen with 49,570 euros and Hamburg, with 64,567 euros.

Hamburg and Bremen are Hanseatic cities to which many people who do not live in them will work, so they do not integrate their population but contribute to GDP and therefore have the highest per capita GDP figures in Germany.

For Bavaria, which grew by 2.8% last year and is one of the fastest growing regions in Germany, the majority of the 1.3 million refugees who arrived in the country since 2015 have entered.

The growth of all of Germany, which has a GDP of 3,263 billion euros, was 2.2% last year.

Bavaria is the largest contributor to state coffers in interterritorial budget compensation between the Länder.

But this economic prosperity will not be enough to give the absolute victory in the regional elections on Sunday to the Social Christian Union (CSU), which integrates the conservative bloc of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, nor to avoid a strong punishment of the electorate to this match.

The crisis caused by the arrival of refugees has polarized the Bavarian society and created rejection in part of the population, but not in all, because many other citizens have participated very actively in the reception.

The high price of both rent and purchase, makes it difficult for a middle class citizen to find a home.

The purchase prices in Munich range between 6,000 and almost 12,000 euros per square meter and for many citizens the rent payment represents half of their income.

A floor of 75 square meters frequently costs more than 700,000 euros in Munich.

There are difficulties in finding a place in a daycare for some families and lack of staff in nursing homes.

The polls predict the loss of an absolute majority for the CSU and a fall to percentages between 33 and 35%, its worst result in the last sixty years and reflecting an erosion similar to that suffered by the Christian Democratic Union nationwide ( CDU) of Merkel.

Founded in 1945, the CSU governs the region uninterrupted since 1957, with an absolute majority since 1962 and until 2008, the year in which it began to govern in coalition with the Liberal Party (FDP) until 2013.

Now the Greens (Die Gruenen) could benefit from this discontent and achieve around 18% of the votes, and also the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) with 10%, according to the latest polls.

In neighboring Baden-Württemberg, where the headquarters of Daimler, Bosch and Porsche are located, the CDU has ruled for years with Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann's Greens.

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