Business leaders giveSchroeder good marks

20th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 August 2004 , BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder might be battling to gain voter approval for his tough round of welfare and labour market reforms, but he has won approval from the nation's business leaders for his push to makeover the country's lumbering economy.

20 August 2004

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder might be battling to gain voter approval for his tough round of welfare and labour market reforms, but he has won approval from the nation's business leaders for his push to makeover the country's lumbering economy.

The Social Democrat Chancellor's popularity among German business executives has jumped to its highest level in 12 months, a survey published Friday in the country's business daily 'Handelsblatt' reported.

Conducted by the Psephos polling institute, the survey found that almost half of the nation's managers said they are satisfied with his performance.

The publication of the poll comes as Schroeder faces growing weekly protests to his reforms, in particular to his plans for changing benefits for the country's long-term unemployed.

The survey found, however, that on a scale of 1 to 5 points, Schroeder, received 3.6 points of the 825 business leaders participating in the survey. This is compared to 3.9 which he received in the previous survey conducted in May.

The poll of business leaders is in stark contrast to opinion polls of the broader German community.

They show support for Schroeder's Social Democrats as having plummeted with the conservative Christian Democrat-led opposition romping into power if an election was held in the present political climate.

Last weekend Schroeder was jeered by company workers when he turned up at an event marking the 125th birthday of the giant German Kaufhof.

Some 20,000 employees of the Kaufhof group had gathered for a day of music and festivities at the sports stadium RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne to help the company celebrate.

But the general festive mood was marred when Schroeder, speaking to congratulate the company and its employees for the occasion, was met by a chorus of people whistling at him.

Schroeder found himself defending the Social Democrat-Greens government's controversial reforms policies.

"I appeal to you to trust us more," Schroeder said. "We have to prepare our country for new conditions."

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]


Subject: German news

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