In brief - 2006-08-02

  • 2006-08-02
While East Europeans flock to Germany for better wages, Germans go to… Norway. According to Statistics Norway, the number of Germans seeking employment in Norway, which is not an EU member, increased 23 percent over the past five years. Some 9,000 Germans are working in Norway, mainly in the health and construction sectors.

Denmark's trains were brought to a standstill on July 31 after a pigeon perched on a high-tension wire and caught fire. The resulting short-circuit triggered a reaction throughout the country's entire train network, and traffic ground to a halt. As a result, Danish rail travelers endured inconveniences throughout the day, and rail operations did not return to normal until the following day.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail shop, announced that it would pull out of Germany. For eight years the company tried to establish itself on the German retail market, the third biggest in the world after the United States and Japan. The company announced it would take a loss of $1 billion on its German operations. Analysts have suggested that Wal-Mart failed due to an "incomplete market strategy." All 85 Wal-Mart stores are to be sold to Metro Group, a German competitor. Wal-Mart operates 2700 stores in 14 countries outside the United States. In the first quarter of 2006 the company's earnings rose 6.3 percent to a record $2.6 billion, on worldwide sales of $79.6 billion. Walmart's total sales in 2005 amounted to $312 billion.