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Feb. 12 article in Bloomberg Politics was definitive: “Germany’s Days as an Industrial Superpower Are Coming to an End” was the headline, with a chart under it, sourced to Eurostat, showing that the industrial bulk cost of electricity to companies in Germany had risen to an average of 22 eurocents/kwh at the start of 2023, two and one-half times what it was two years earlier.

The article features the closure of a pipe plant by a subdivision of Mannesmann in Düsseldorf. With a lot of sad atmospherics and gloomy quotes from leaders, it goes on to “Michelin shutting two of its German plants and downsizing a third”; “Goodyear has similar plans for two facilities”; Continental AG abandoning an auto systems plant; Robert Bosch GmbH “slashing thousands of workers”; chemical makers Lanxess AG and BASF SE cutting thousands of jobs; 150-year-old GEA Group AG moving production to Poland; various solar cell makers shutting down production. “The underpinnings of Germany’s industrial machine have fallen like dominoes. The U.S. is drifting away from Europe and is seeking to compete with its transatlantic allies for climate investment…. The final blow for heavy manufacturers was the end of huge volumes of cheap Russian natural gas.”

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