Germans who fake illness

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The Independent Online
Bonn (AP) - German workers stay home sick up to six weeks a year and still collect their normal wages, sometimes more. The government says too many people are abusing this generosity by faking illness.

Experts began a series of meetings with the government yesterday to consider reducing sick-pay benefits. The government says the costs hinder Germany's efforts to compete in the global economy and combat unemployment, at its highest levels since the Second World War. Germans miss work through illness an average of two weeks each year, costing companies 60bn marks (pounds 27bn) annually, the Federation of German Employers said.