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Yearbook 1996

1996 GermanyGermany. Following a storm of domestic political law in 1995, many in Germany looked forward to a quieter 1996, primarily so that all resources could be concentrated on reversing the negative economic development and on the fight against the continued rising unemployment. However, the hopes were only partially fulfilled. It became calmer in domestic politics, mainly because the Social Democratic opposition, despite a more powerful leadership under Oscar Lafontaine, failed to seriously challenge Chancellor Helmut Kohl's CDU/CSU-FDP government. In the state elections in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein, both CDU and FDP went ahead. The Greens also made a good choice. The SPD, on the other hand, declined sharply. The election results showed that the SPD:

1996 Germany

In 1996, the German economy recovered somewhat. However, developments over the next few years appear uncertain. The government repeatedly stressed that Germany is working to implement the monetary union EMU. At the same time, it was noted that the problems of the German economy were so great that the so-called convergence requirements regarding budget deficits (max. 3%) and government debt (max. 60%) would probably not be met. The necessary cuts in public spending - lowered sickness benefit, increased retirement age, deterioration in labor law, etc. - were met by massive protests. At the same time, unemployment rose to record levels. In the autumn it reached over 10%, and the increase showed no signs of slowing down.

According to, another threat to the job is that German companies are increasingly manufacturing in the new low-wage countries in Eastern Europe. The situation in the labor market has pushed the trade unions to reduce their wage requirements, but against deterioration in labor law and social security, the resistance is compact. The risk of strikes and social unrest increased sharply in 1996.

Foreign policy is becoming increasingly self-conscious in Germany. Economic strength is now increasingly combined with political ambitions. In addition to the EU, this was noticed in 1996 in both economic and political relations with the United States, the Russian Federation, Japan and China. It is hoped that this process of growth with regard to international influence will be crowned with a permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

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