Berlin silent on plans to cancelholiday to boost economy

1st November 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 November 2004, BERLIN - The German government Monday declined to comment on reports it plans to cancel one of the country's numerous public holidays in a bid to boost economic growth. Media reports say Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to abolish the 3 October, German Unity holiday which has existed since 1990. Asked if Finance Minister Hans Eichel is pushing to have Unity Day eliminated, a ministry spokesman said: "I don't want to make any closer evaluation of this or that speculation."

1 November 2004

BERLIN - The German government Monday declined to comment on reports it plans to cancel one of the country's numerous public holidays in a bid to boost economic growth.

Media reports say Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to abolish the 3 October, German Unity holiday which has existed since 1990.

Asked if Finance Minister Hans Eichel is pushing to have Unity Day eliminated, a ministry spokesman said: "I don't want to make any closer evaluation of this or that speculation."

A final decision on any measures would be made after tax revenue projections become available later this month, said Schroeder's chief spokesman, Bela Anda.

Germans get up to 13 public holidays a year - depending on which federal state they live in - plus an average of about 30 days of paid vacation.

Several ministers in Schroeder's cabinet want the number of public holidays be reduced.

Economics Minister Wolfgang Clement has noted that for this year at least 0.25 percent of German GDP growth is due to the fact that numerous holidays fall on either Saturday or Sunday - meaning Germans will work a larger than normal number of days in 2004.

The debate over cutting holidays comes as German GDP is expected to post slightly slower growth of 1.7 percent in 2005, following projected growth of 1.8 percent this year, the government says.

The European Commission warned last month that Germany was in danger of overshooting the eurozone's budget deficit limit for a fourth year in a row in 2005.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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