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German Joblessness Jumps to Postwar High

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Germany’s unemployment rate climbed to a postwar high of 12.2% in January, the government said, prompting politicians, employers and unions to call for urgent solutions to revive the country’s faltering economy. December unemployment had been 10.8%. Leaders of the main opposition Social Democratic Party for the first time called for early elections, before the fall of 1998, blaming Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s policies for the growing crisis. Despite the report, Kohl said he is optimistic that the economy will slowly recover. “I’m certain that the trend can be turned around this year,” he said. His government said the jobless situation highlights the need for passage of its austerity package, which is based on tax reform and drastic cuts in social spending.


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