Berlin – After almost one and a half hours Sigmar Gabriel takes his interlocutors sometimes in protection. Google using a tax loophole in Ireland over the years saved billions, was exceptionally not the fault of the Internet Group, says the Minister of Economic Affairs. But the “stupidity of the European Union”, which previously could not agree on a uniform tax legislation itself.
Gabriel again lined up in recent months in the great multitude of Google’s critics and even mused aloud about a break-up of the Group after. Schmidt countered cool in an interview with SPIEGEL: “Sometimes our critics simply do not know too much about us.”
But completely uninformed is Gabriel did not go into the discussion. So he wants to know from Schmidt about why Google is reading the news in his service Gmail. “We do not,” says Schmidt, “people are not involved.” There are only algorithms that scanned the contents of the mails – to provide users then can serve up appropriate ads
Gabriel digs deeper.. How could it be then, that Google recently announced a user because of child pornography images to the authorities. Whose arrest was indeed unquestionably correct. “Nevertheless, we would say in Germany, which is not the task of a private company.” Now Schmidt admits but the participation of people, if not by our own staff: You’ve gotten from outside an indication of the user
A Global Group as Klitsche
The dialogue is typical for large parts of the evening. The head of the most valuable brand in the world is doing in Berlin as if he were a fairly insignificant Klitsche before. So Schmidt has about then, not Google is the world’s most popular app, but Facebook. Google could be overtaken by a competitor, as it once even Yahoo displaced.
And not Google’s handling of data was “the real problem,” says Schmidt. But the sharp criticism of him NSA spying, which have damaged the decades-old partnership between Americans and Germans. That sounds almost as if it had not already been massive criticism of Google products such as Street View.
Where Schmidt does, however, too small, as the economy minister makes himself and his country sometimes too large. Gabriel likes playing the role of the Social Democrats, who always held in the New Economy hype in the industry, according to the other countries crave today. As a viewer of the “Old Economy” speaks, Gabriel snaps at him: “If we had listened to you 15 years ago, then we would be today a bankrupt country.”
Instead, Germany was for technological trends such as the Internet of Things and the necessary industry 4.0 now optimally equipped, claims Gabriel. He has introduced a significantly revised down growth forecast a few hours ago, which fueled the debate on necessary investments -. Including in the long requested expansion of broadband internet
Waiting for broadband
“I could not do my job if I did live in the Sauerland,” complains a Berlin programmer in the discussion. Even Google CEO Schmidt allowed himself pointing out that Germany is lagging behind in broadband. “That could fix your pretty easily.” And Gabriel himself admits that startup initiatives such as the Berlin Startup Center Factory of Google support, while many German corporations aristocratic manner.
Although Gabriel does in the discussion some constructive suggestions. About a European Privacy Seal in the form of a smiling @ sign. Or the replacement of subjects such as Latin and Greek in favor of computer science education.
But in the end remains primarily a well-known trench which also runs between the audience in the hall as between Twitter users who join in the discussion #wirtschaftfuermorgen under the hashtag: On the one hand Fortschrittseuphoriker as Schmidt, the much rather than on opportunities to talk about risks. And on the other hand, mostly European skeptics that managers such as Schmidt on their promises will never buy sight unseen.
Perhaps the German skepticism is yes, but also a business basis. “You are very hard on yourself,” says Schmidt his German audience at the very beginning. “And you are very successful.”