Germany faces a looming threat of deindustrialisation

Crunch time for a business model built on Russian gas and Chinese demand

Germany’s bakeries are feeling the burn of heating energy prices. In the land of more than 3,000 types of bread, around 10,000 bread producers are struggling. PHOTO: REUTERS
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

In a book from 1945 entitled Germany Is Our Problem, Mr Henry Morgenthau, then America's Treasury Secretary, presented a proposal to strip post-war Germany of its industry and turn it into an agricultural economy. Though his radical proposal had some influence on Allied plans for the occupation of Germany after Hitler's defeat, it was never implemented.

Almost 80 years later, Russian leader Vladimir Putin might achieve some of what Mr Morgenthau, whose parents were both born in Germany, had in mind. By weaponising the natural gas on which Germany's mighty industrial base relies, the president is eating away at the world's fourth biggest economy and its third biggest exporter of goods.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.