Angela Merkel Promises…….

Angela Merkel, the German opposition Christian Democrat leader, has promised that initiatives to cut unemployment would ?be at the centre of my thoughts and actions?. Laudible ideals, delivering on them may prove rather more difficult than Ms Merkel imagines. Still, she is focusing the debate on the relevant areas:

Mrs Merkel acknowledged that Germany was one of the most expensive countries to do business. ?We have to be better [than competitors] to the same extent that we are more expensive [than them]?, by being ?quicker and more flexible?. She said ?globalisation is now the context in which our ideas of democracy and of a social market economy must prove themselves?.

Policy priorities would include measures to reduce government debt and to cut non-wage labour costs paid by employers as social security contributions, in part by introducing a new tax-funded health insurance system. Labour market measures would include a loosening of job protection rules and more decentralised collective bargaining.

In fact they are so relevant and to the point that it is hard to see Schr?der disagreeing with them. Interesting campaign in prospect.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

1 thought on “Angela Merkel Promises…….

  1. He doesn’t disagree about the aims. The methods are controversial. Shifting social spending to the general revenues would mean raising the VAT. To the SPD this is favoring business at the expense of consumers.

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