Hartz IV - is German word of the year

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 December 2004, WIESBADEN - German language experts have chosen the term Hartz IV as the country's "word of the year", reflecting 2004's overriding domestic political issue of welfare reforms. The Society for the German Language in Wiesbaden said the term - shorthand for sweeping welfare reforms which take effect in January - had dominated public discussion this year. The Hartz IV legislation, which will lead to cutbacks for many on unemployment benefits and social security payments, was drawn up by a co

10 December 2004

WIESBADEN - German language experts have chosen the term Hartz IV as the country's "word of the year", reflecting 2004's overriding domestic political issue of welfare reforms.
The Society for the German Language in Wiesbaden said the term - shorthand for sweeping welfare reforms which take effect in January - had dominated public discussion this year.

The Hartz IV legislation, which will lead to cutbacks for many on unemployment benefits and social security payments, was drawn up by a commission headed by auto industry manager Peter Hartz.

It led to weeks of demonstrations in late summer, particularly in eastern Germany where Hartz IV has become synonymous with the dismantling of the welfare service and social injustice.

The Society for the German Language has for more than 30 years chosen annually a word which it feels meets the country's zeitgeist, or spirit of the times.

Hartz IV follows last year's winner, "old Europe", the 2002 choice "teuro" - for euro inflation - and the 2001 selection "11 September".

Runner-up to Hartz IV is "parallel societies", a term used in a continuing debate over the integration of immigrants.

DPA

Subject: German news

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