Peter Altmaier (60, CDU), is of impressive stature. However, the giant ground arguments are more than political bluster. The conversation in the fireplace room of the Davos hotel Seehof under the cool draughts, breaks only to his speech, the surge for a few seconds. Hardly, the German economy Minister sits in another chair, he continues his speech seamlessly. About the Switzerland, German politics and Europe, he could talk for hours, he says. You don’t think so on his every word.

Peter Altmaier: There is no Overheating, and no Situation, such as during the financial and banking crisis. But in terms of Brexit and the trade conflict between China and the United States, the uncertainty increases. The slowing economic momentum. The policy, however, has the Chance to prevent a disorderly Brexit, as also with the Americans an agreement in the trade policy.

Since there is no direct connection. The last year has been good for the economy – and yet, the populists had the most inflow. In Germany, the recent reforms have reduced unemployment and strengthen the economy. In many other European countries, such reforms will fail, among other things, because it takes too little time, too hesitant, or people do not take. This has increased in France and Italy, social inequality and the populist boost given.

The globalization has led some voters to alienation. The heated mood in terms of Migration and Islam has provided a further breeding-ground for the AfD. Not least because the conservative camp – the CDU, CSU and SPD – long absence of a joint line.

I spoke About this in Davos with your Federal President …

Mason would like to renegotiate.
Switzerland is located in a not-so-easy process of the formation of political opinion. A distraction comes, nor by the European elections and the elections in Switzerland in the autumn. The lesson of the past shows, that have to respect both sides and not allowed to overwhelm.


We need to vote on the timing. The negotiations of the EU and Germany with Switzerland. But we Germans have a responsibility to our neighbours, Switzerland. Maybe because we understand each other well.

The long-standing recipe for success, Switzerland, is your long, in-depth political discussion. In order to avoid mistakes and is a role model. Prior to that, I have a high respect. I wish that a framework agreement is concluded. But that also means that we must not break these negotiations, over the knee, and want to.

Spahn want to get back by the German Doctors from Switzerland. Germany plans to repatriate other professionals?
My colleague, Spahn is happy about any doctor who stays in Germany or to come back to us. That is a good thing. It belongs to the European free movement, that people are allowed to work where you want. It is a fact that European society is ageing and skilled workers in many countries, also in Germany.

With our new skilled-workers-immigration-law we set in Germany, a happy ending, after a long debate. In this act, including the experience of Switzerland, a flow. Your country has acted in the waves of immigration in the past, smarter, earlier thoughts about the possible social consequences.

Right! But I would like to praise Switzerland. We had a Finance Minister who wanted to send in the cavalry … That was long!

Very positive. I met with Federal President Maurer and the Minister of economy Parmelin. I think we can put our relationship on a new, better basis. Germany can learn from the cooperation with Switzerland a lot.

Since March 2018, Peter Altmaier, has served as the German Minister of economic Affairs in the Cabinet of Angela Merkel. Previously, he headed the Department of the environment and was the chief of the Chancellery. The 1960-born lawyer, experienced as a official of the European Commission, the Swiss no to the EEA accession in 1992. Two years later, he came in the German Bundestag.