Schroeder vows more reforms

2nd February 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2004 , BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will push ahead with key reforms in 2004, a government spokesman said Monday in reply to media reports that the German leader was scaling back ambitions amid rock bottom opinion polls. "The Chancellor's position is that 2004 will also be a year of deep reforms," said Schroeder spokesman Hans-Hermann Langguth, adding there would be no "cut-backs" or "pauses" in the path to reform. This stance will not please all members of Schroeder's Social Democratic

 

2 February 2004

BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will push ahead with key reforms in 2004, a government spokesman said Monday in reply to media reports that the German leader was scaling back ambitions amid rock bottom opinion polls.

"The Chancellor's position is that 2004 will also be a year of deep reforms," said Schroeder spokesman Hans-Hermann Langguth, adding there would be no "cut-backs" or "pauses" in the path to reform.

This stance will not please all members of Schroeder's Social Democratic Party (SPD).

The SPD's left-wing was angered over the Chancellor's tax cuts for higher earners, unemployment benefit reductions and legislation raising healthcare payments passed last year by parliament.

With the SPD scraping along below 25 percent in opinion polls - compared with about 50 percent for opposition conservatives - there had been speculation Schroeder would ditch further reforms this year.

A push for more liberalisation means a tough balancing act for Schroeder given that SPD leftists are not the only group he has to keep happy.

The Chancellor also must cut deals with the opposition Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) which dominates parliament's upper chamber, the Bundesrat, to get bills passed.

Top reform issues this year include possible further tax cuts, revamping German immigration law and education reform.

An interior minister spokesman said the government was optimistic there would be a deal on immigration by the end of the month.

DPA
Subject: German news

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