ROUNDUP: Postal law reform - criticism from Verdi, praise from the SPD

BERLIN - While the planned reform of the outdated Postal Act has provoked criticism from the Verdi trade union, the SPD parliamentary group has come out in support of the project. It is good that letters will still have to be delivered on all six working days of the week and that Mondays will not be abolished, said Sebastian Roloff, member of parliament, to the German Press Agency on Sunday. As the SPD parliamentary group's rapporteur for the Postal Act, he will play a central role in the upcoming parliamentary negotiations. The Federal Ministry of Economics published its reform proposal on Friday.

Deutsche Post reacts cautiously to postal market reform plans

BERLIN - Deutsche Post has reacted cautiously to the ministry's plans for a reform of the postal law. The draft recognizes some realities, it said in a statement on Friday evening. People's communication behavior has changed and the volume of letters has declined significantly. The company is critical of regulations with which the government intends to strengthen competition between postal services. According to the company, it is not yet possible to assess whether the draft will enable an economically viable universal postal service.

Bayer boss: too little invested in pharmaceutical research in the past

LONDON/LEVERKUSEN - Bayer CEO Bill Anderson attributes the thin product pipeline in the pharmaceuticals division following the sudden discontinuation of an important study to underinvestment in the past. "We had a few years of under-investment until around 2018," said the head of the DAX-listed company in an interview with the Financial Times ("FT"/Sunday). Bayer had not researched any novel molecules during this time and had not pursued the really important goals. As a result, the pipeline of well-developed drugs is thin compared to the patents expiring in the coming years. He cannot correct what did not happen eight or ten years ago.

VW managers may no longer accumulate vacation entitlements indefinitely

WOLFSBURG - The car manufacturer Volkswagen is adapting its vacation regulations for members of management to those of employees covered by collective wage agreements. Previously, the rule was that managers did not have to take their annual vacation in the same year as other VW employees. They could also save it up indefinitely until a later date. This will end in 2024, as "Der Spiegel" first reported on Saturday. "With the new regulation for management, there is an alignment with the vacation regulation in the collective bargaining sector," a VW spokeswoman said in response to a dpa inquiry. It is also about standardizing processes in the personnel area.

Genilke wants to campaign for long-distance transportation stop at Tesla

POTSDAM - Brandenburg's new Transport Minister Rainer Genilke (CDU) wants to campaign for a long-distance transportation stop at the plant of the US electric car manufacturer Tesla in Grünheide (Oder-Spree). Around 11,000 people work there at the current stage of expansion, not all of whom live in the immediate vicinity of the factory site, Genilke told the newspapers "Nordkurier" and "Der Prignitzer" (Saturday). "Fast long-distance connections, such as an additional stop for Eurocity trains to Poland, are also needed here."

ROUNDUP: Shisha industry under pressure - demand for legal tobacco is falling

BERLIN/LONSEE - The consequences of a packaging regulation are hitting Germany's shisha industry hard. After a slump in sales in 2022, companies are also suffering losses this year, according to figures from the Federal Statistical Office. According to the figures, the weight of taxed water pipe tobacco fell by 16% to 688 tons in the first ten months of 2023 compared to the same period last year. This is due to a new regulation that prohibits the sale of large packaging. Demand for the permitted small packaging is low as it is relatively expensive.

ICE line between Koln and Frankfurt closed for a week

COLOGNE/FRANKFURT - The ICE route between Koln and Frankfurt will be closed for a week due to construction work. The work began as planned on Saturday morning, said a railroad spokeswoman. "The adjustment has worked well so far."

Sports betting provider Entain wants to pay million fine

LONDON - Sports betting operator Entain has agreed to pay more than half a billion pounds to settle a bribery investigation. An agreement with the British financial authority HMRC provides for a payment of 585 million pounds (674 million euros), the company announced on Friday. The company offers sports betting and gambling through various brands, including Ladbrokes, Corel and bwin.

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Customer tip:

ROUNDUP: You are reading a summary in the company overview. There are several reports on this topic on the dpa-AFX news service.

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