There has been no good news for the German government and the German economy for a long time, and that is likely to change this Friday. The Ministers of Health and Economic Affairs, Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Robert Habeck (Greens), will announce a large settlement: The US company Eli Lilly is planning to build a pharmaceutical plant in Alzey for 2.3 billion euros.
The ministers, who lack good press, will assure that the move illustrates the attractiveness of Germany as a business location and that the policy adopted in the wake of the drug shortage to motivate manufacturers to settle in Germany is paying off. Research and studies would also be facilitated.
Of course, this argument falls short. Lilly comes to Europe because there are huge shops here with his weight loss injections. Rather, it is the case that the investor chose Germany not because of, but in spite of, the traffic light policy: despite the excessive bureaucracy in economic and health policy, despite the shortage of skilled workers, despite the high energy prices, taxes and levies. The market is so promising that Lilly doesn't even need subsidies. Unfortunately, this is already news in times of billions in subsidies for the chip industry from the recently trimmed Climate and Transformation Fund.
With the settlement, Rhineland-Palatinate, which is already home to BASF, Biontech and Boehringer Ingelheim, finally rises to the top league of European pharmaceutical locations. This is likely to lead to a further pull effect and cluster formation, as in central Germany with the semiconductor industry, but hopefully with less taxpayers' money. The Lilly product can be a blessing for the many obese sufferers. However, it is important that it is not misused for lifestyle purposes and that the high demand does not lead to a shortage in the supply of diabetics with the sister drug with the same active ingredient.
You have to thank the investor, you have to celebrate him. But politicians really can't pin this success to their chests.