BUSINESS ABROAD: Volkswagen for Sale

The West German government is one of the world's richest property holders. Though it is committed to free enterprise, it controls 314 German industrial companies worth well over $1 billion, which it inherited from the Kaisers and the Nazis. These control 90% of the nation's lignite mining, 50% of its. iron-ore mining, 20% of its hard-coal mining plus much of its production of aluminum (70%), lead (42%), zinc (28%), oil (18%) and steel (5%). The state also controls 100% of the German railway (total employment: 500,000) and telegraph systems.

Last week, the government took its first real step toward selling...

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