Business & Finance: Europe's Biggest

The air into which Merseburg's church thrusts its spire is much like the air over any other Central German village. Somewhere in it, no doubt, could be found the traces of that pious carbon dioxide exhaled by Martin Luther when he preached in Merseburg some 400 years ago. More evident is the carbon monoxide belched daily by Opel cars speeding through wheat and coal lands on the high road to Berlin. But for the most part, Merseburg's air is undistinguished−healthy, fragrant, and with its conventional share of oxygen and nitrogen.

This is fortunate, for...

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