Germany struggling to contain discontented business leaders

The German Chancellery is struggling to contain discontent by leaders of key German concerns.

Business heavyweights are making attempts to influence the government’s policy towards Russia, Der Spiegel weekly reported on Sunday.

Bavaria’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged the the powers that be to lift sanctions against Russia.

Dr. Eberhard Sasse, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria, said in early October Bavaria’s entrepreneurs want Western sanctions against Russia to be lifted.

“We have about 9,000 members in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and we all want the sanctions against Russia to be lifted, enabling business relations between our countries to develop further,” he pleaded.

Sanctions as a foreign policy tool do not always produce the desired effect, Sasse said. “Sanctions create uncertainty in business prospects. This is a political tool and not a business tool,” he warned.

Chancellor Angela Merkel however “is angry over numerous calls by leaders of the DAX companies [Germany’s index] that insist the EU sanctions against Moscow be eased”, the pro-American weekly stated.

“The meeting between businessmen and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in early week aroused less delight,” Der Spiegel said with regards to the session of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia.

“The last thing we need is companies’ parallel foreign policy,” the weekly lamented.

German officials, who took part in the meeting in Moscow, informed the German Chancellery but not the German Foreign Ministry about their trip to Russia, Der Spiegel said.