Kohl buys peace by caving in to unions
Friday 21 June 1996
After a series of warning strikes, a huge trade union demonstration and rebellion within government ranks, Chancellor Helmut Kohl's budget has become significantly less austere than was intended. Economists calculate that in 1997, the year when applicants must bring their budget deficits to within 3 per cent of GDP to qualify for monetary union, Germany's deficit will be about 3.5 per cent.
The final blow against Mr Kohl's "savings package" was struck yesterday by the public employees' trade union, OTV, which settled for a 1.3 per cent pay rise for next year, on top of a one-off payment of 300 German marks (pounds 130) each. The government had offered no pay increase for two years, but caved in after a month of well-coordinated strikes, which paralysed different towns on different days.
The cost of its retreat is DM4.1bn, but Mr Kohl has also been rowing back on welfare cuts. The pension age for women will not, after all, be raised to 65, sick pay might not be cut by 20 per cent, and child benefits will increase by 10 per cent next year.
Thus, the original budget cuts of DM50bn have been whittled down to about DM35bn. Politicians attribute the German economy's woes to labour costs, which are the highest in the world. These accrue from the heavy social security contributions, which Mr Kohl has tried - and now failed - to cut.
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
'Santa Claus' dead: John Moore starred in Coca Cola and Morrisons adverts
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...