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16.03.2017
Unemployment benefit Q and the elusive quest for social justice
Abstract: Time to enhance (social) justice is the election campaign slogan of the SPD and its leadership candidate, Martin Schulz. To bring this slogan to life the chancellor candidate and the Federal Minister for Labour, Andrea Nahles, recently presented plans for specific labour market policy measures. The duo is proposing that the existing unemployment benefit be extended to include an additional component and that the eligibility criteria be relaxed. The idea of the new benefit Q (for qualification) is to grant registered recipients the right to participate in qualification programmes. It could double the benefit period – for younger jobseekers from one to two years and for those aged 58 and above from two to four years.
Topics: Labour market policy; Politics and elections; Social policy
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13.03.2017
German election campaign: Close contest dominated by myopic debates
Abstract: The campaign for the German federal election on September 24 has speeded up. Since Mr. Schulz’ nomination the SPD seems to experience a new heyday. The party was able to nearly completely reduce the then huge backlog in the popularity ratings, i.e. from about 15pps to about 2pps at present.
Topics: Germany
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13.02.2017
Germany: CDU & CSU team up to clip Schulz' rise
Abstract: At a meeting in Munich, the executive committees of the CDU and the CSU have largely demonstrated unanimity and the willingness to close the ranks behind Chancellor Merkel in the imminent election campaign after months of tension over Merkel’s refugee policy. The meeting is meant as the start signal of a joint campaign which aims at keeping Chancellor Merkel in office and preventing a “left republic”, the term the CSU uses to describe a coalition among the SPD, the Left and the Greens. As an anchor for a common campaign a joint election platform shall be launched. The platform is likely to focus on external and internal security, (income) tax reductions, support for families, prosperity and jobs and European policy. The Bavarian CSU, however, will stick to its demand for an upper limit on migration of 200,000 p.a. as a major element of its own complementary platform for Bavaria, weakening the signal of unanimity at a time when the SPD is surging in polls.
Topics: European issues
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30.01.2017
Focus Germany: New SPD frontrunner unlikely to defeat Merkel
Abstract: 2016 GDP growth picked up further relative to the previous two years (1.9% vs. 1.7%). Growth was strongly tilted towards consumption thanks to several tailwinds (refugee crisis, low inflation, labour market strength), while slowing exports weighed on private equipment investment: With several tailwinds fading and a strong workday effect weighing, GDP growth looks set to slow to 1.1% in 2017. Recent sentiment indicators herald some upside risks for the current quarter. However, the 2.3 point drop in the expectations component of the January ifo index seems to corroborate our more cautious stance. In an unexpected turn, SPD party leader Gabriel announced that he would not run against Angela Merkel. Instead Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, will be the party’s frontrunner. Mr. Schulz’s unexpected nomination is likely to push the SPD’s campaign for the federal election on September 24 but unlikely to derail Merkel.
Topics: Business cycle; European issues; European policy issues; Germany; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Macroeconomics; Politics and elections; Prices, inflation
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24.01.2017
Germany: Martin Schulz likely to help SPD, but unlikely to derail Merkel
Abstract: In an unexpected turn, Sigmar Gabriel the head of the SPD has decided not to run against Angela Merkel. Martin Schulz the former president of the European Parliament (EP) is now reported to run as the party’s candidate for chancellorship.
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