Controversial labour market reforms introduced in Germany by Gerhard SchrÃ¶der in 2004 are showing results, according to data published less than a week after he stood down as chancellor…..The state-run BA employment service in NÃ¼remberg said the total number of job placements by employment offices across Germany would exceed 1m this year, an increase from 496,000 in 2004. The average length of unemployment had fallen from 22 months a year ago to about 21 months today – a downward trend that was set to continue next year.
Ok, now that Edward has already mentioned it, I might as well explain in a little more detail what I meant by saying that “on some level, the CDU might be afraid to win.”
Last Saturday evening, strolling through Stockholm’s Gamla Stan, Edward asked me about my gut feeling concerning the outcome of the German election next week. I told him that, while it was rather entertaining, this campaign has also been confusing – and confused – in many ways, particularly when looking at the CDU. And I believe the confused and confusing campaign the CDU is conducting is even more an expression of the way the German establishment is puzzled about the way ahead than the fact that Schröder “called” the elections a year too early, too early for any of his reforms to have any perceptible impact on the economy, not even in the West. Continue reading →