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Germany

Yearbook 1999

1999 GermanyGermany. In May, Germany got a new president, Social Democrat Johannes Rau, who succeeded Christian Democrat Roman Herzog. For the first time since World War II and ten years after the fall of the Berlin, in the spring, Berlin became the seat of the government again. The Bundestag (Parliament) moved from Bonn into Berlin's legendary old Parliament House, which had received a substantial facelift, similar to the neighborhoods where the government offices moved. According to Countryaah official website, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's government office completed the move to the capital in August just days before the sixtieth anniversary of the German march in Poland on September 1, 1939, which started the Second World War.

1999 Germany

Schröder's red-green coalition government, consisting of social democrats and environmental parties, was mostly cancerous due to internal contradictions and gaps between the parties and further phalanges within them. In March, leftist Oskar Lafontaine left his post following a government quarrel, both as Finance Minister and as Social Democratic Party Chairman. Schröder appointed Hessen's former head of government, Hans Eichel, as finance minister and Schröder himself was elected party chairman. When Lafontaine - called Red Oskar - resigned, the short-term effect was that the Frankfurt Stock Exchange rose and interest rates fell, but that did not stop German zigzag policy. In the vernacular, Schröder came to be called the "Mambo Chancellor" for his political churning. At the end of the summer, the government agreed on a austerity package with savings of D-30 billion (SEK 133.6 billion) for the coming financial year. Among other things, the savings would apply to pension development, where pensions would be linked to the rate of inflation rather than previously to wage growth. Shortly thereafter, the press leaked that the Ministry of Labor had put forward a secret strategy to change its footing. After all, pensions would be slightly increased so that the government could appease the union and the workers' voters. Schröder did not object. At the large trade union organization IG Metall's congress, Schröder was bowed out when he explained that it was not possible to finance the metal workers' pension requirements at the age of 60. Shortly thereafter, the Minister of Labor and IG Metall's chairman went out and told them that they agreed on a retirement age at 60 years. Then suddenly Schröder thought it was good.

There was also great confusion about the government's attitude to the left wing's demand for a wealth tax. Sometimes you were against - sometimes for. Schröder had made many promises before the 1998 elections, but few had been realized.

The promised reform of German citizenship rules was watered down because of the opposition's strong opposition. Previously, only one person's blood applied to German citizenship. This meant that people with German outbreak could obtain citizenship regardless of whether they had never lived in Germany, while immigrants had a very difficult time obtaining a German passport even if they had lived in the country for a long time. Under the new law, children of immigrants can now obtain a German passport. At the age of 23, however, they must choose citizenship. Thus, it is not possible to have dual citizenship, which many, especially within the large Turkish minority, would have preferred.

Confidence in Schröder dropped during the year as a rock, and according to an opinion poll in the fall, only 23% of voters were happy with him, compared to 54% when he was elected in 1998. in several cases became a disaster for Schröder's party. In Brandenburg, eastern Germany, the Social Democrats lost as much as 15 percentage points of the vote and had to settle for 39%, which meant they were forced to co-operate with the Christian Democrats. At the same time, the right-wing extremist DVU (Deutsche Volksunion, German People's Union) managed to pass the five percent limit and thus gain five seats in the state parliament. At the end of the year, the German government entered into a settlement with Jewish organizations in the United States and Eastern Europe, which meant that surviving slave workers from the Second World War would receive compensation of a total of DKK 10 billion (about SEK 45 billion). The German chief negotiator explained that the settlement was necessary to avoid damaging Germany's reputation in the world.

Ignatz Bubis, chairman of the Jewish Central Council in Germany, passed away in the summer. When he took up the post in 1992, he emphasized that he primarily felt like German and was proud of his national identity. His stated goal was to eliminate the differences between German and Jewish. Bubis said that as the wounds of history healed, the Jewish element in German culture would become as self-evident as before 1933. But he was deeply disappointed by the latent anti-Semitism in Germany, and on his deathbed said he did not want to be buried in German soil. but in Israel. His remains were put to rest in Tel Aviv next to the five Israeli athletes who were murdered during the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The year ended with a series of corruption scandals in which Social Democratic President Johannes Rau and former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, together with a number of prominent state politicians, figured.

After first winding down, Kohl admitted that during his 25-year leadership, his Christian Democratic Party CDU (Christdemokratische Union, Christian Democratic Union) used secret bank accounts to hide financial contributions from the authorities. He denied that it would have been a bribe for political re-services.

In the heartland of the German Social Democracy, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, revelations drew close to how leading Social Democrats had flown here and there in chartered private plans - both in the service and in private - at prices that were 25 times the usual fare. Johannes Rau, who for many years was the father of the state, was also accused of traveling with the exclusive plan. The trips were paid for by a state-controlled bank. The same bank also accounted for SEK 700,000. of the bill for Raus's birthday is scaled when he turned 65.

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