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Qatar looking to invest more in Germany

The Gulf emirate of Qatar is looking for more German investment opportunities after becoming the third biggest shareholder in Volkswagen, a top official told the business daily Handelsblatt.

Qatar looking to invest more in Germany
Photo: DPA

“In Europe, and particularly in Germany, there is a whole series of interesting companies that we are going to look at,” deputy prime minister Abdallah ibn Hamad al-Attiyah said in comments published on Tuesday.

Germany “now seems to be open again to investment,” he added in reference to efforts two years ago to limit the access of sovereign wealth funds from Gulf countries, China and Russia to German companies.

Al-Attiyah noted that little came of those efforts however and said “it is just as well. That will help the German economy.”

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which manages investments for the gas-rich nation, invested $30 billion (€22 billion) in 2009 and plans to reach a comparable level this year, Prime Minister Hamad ibn Jassem al-Thani said on Monday.

In addition to a 17-percent stake in Volkswagen, QIA holds almost seven percent of the shares in Barclays bank, 25 percent of the supermarket chain J Sainsbury and 14.7 percent of Canary Wharf, the business district in London. Al-Thani said recently it was also in talks to invest in the French nuclear group Areva.

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GREENPEACE

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium

At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium
The activist lands on the turf of the Allianz Arena. credit: dpa | Christian Charisius

The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.

However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.

The activist was arrested soon after landing.

A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are”.

The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges. Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk”.

UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

The parachutist above the stadium. Photo: dpa | Matthias Balk

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.

“UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,” said UEFA.

Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.

“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.

“We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent.”

“Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.”

READ MORE: Climate activists rage as Germany opts for drawn-out coal exit

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