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Germany relaxes unemployment insurance rules

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, November 25, 2022. MICHELE TANTUSSI/REUTERS

The reform increases unemployment benefits and places emphasis on education. The principle of sanctions remains.


ONE burger money (citizen income) to succeed the “Hartz vier” apparatus: Even in German, the a-kassere form sounds sweeter to the ear with citizen income. This was one of the main promises in the program of candidate Olaf Scholz, whose campaign was formulated around the slogan “Respect”. The Social Democrat absolutely wanted to reverse this painful side of the Schröder-era reforms, which had caused many traumas in his ranks: a split with the creation of the left-wing party Die Linke and the alienation of a good part of his traditional voters. Two weeks before his first anniversary as chancellor, Olaf Scholz could rejoice on Friday about the adoption of this “citizen allowance” of the two chambers, the Bundestag and the BundesrĂ„det.

At the head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil spoke at the podium for a service whose purpose is to offer “opportunities and protection” (“chance and protection”

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