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100,000 march against social service cuts

The Local · 14 Nov 2010, 09:40

Published: 14 Nov 2010 09:40 GMT+01:00

Police counted around 30,000 demonstrators in Nuremberg, at least as many in Stuttgart and more thousands in Erfurt and Dortmund.

They were calling for the provision or maintenance of a raft of social provisions including fair wages, a solidarity-based healthcare system, strong public services, abandonment of the increase in retirement age to 67 and better education.

“People are currently having to bear the consequences of the crisis in the financial markets, with tax increases, job losses and cuts in social services. That has nothing to do with fairness,” said Berthold Huber, national chairman of the IG Metall trade union speaking in Stuttgart.

“We do not want a republic in which the interest groups define policy with their money, their power and their influence.”

Frank Bsirske, head of service trade union Verdi told a rally in Dortmund that Germany had become a tax haven for the wealthy because top-earners, business profits, shares and large inheritances were not taxed enough.

“Burden those below and relieve those on top, that is the wrong way,” he said.

He also tackled the soon-to-be enacted increase in official retirement age from 65 to 67, saying it was a social time-bomb. The high retirement age and low wages would put poverty in old-age onto the daily agenda of the country, he said.

Story continues below…

France was recently thrown into chaos by strikes and demonstrations against plans to raise the retirement age there from 60 to 62.

DPA/AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:33 November 14, 2010 by Adebanjos
Let the Government listen to theie people voice, after all they (The People) voted them the (Government Officials) in to Office.
13:27 November 14, 2010 by michael4096
There seems to be an illogical link running through this thread: social costs automatically leads to bigger future debt. It makes for a great teapot party soundbite but, as pas's pointer illustrates, doesn't fly in reality. The country with the lowest social provision, the us, has the largest forecast rise in debt. (Though I suspect that wasn't the reason pas posted the pointer.)

Wanting a fair society and wanting to keep finances under control is not contradictory. The trick is effective management at the top and a lot less populist politics.
20:04 November 14, 2010 by proclusian
I would like to appeal to those who write the articles at The Local to cease reporting falsehoods and half-truths re: the recent demonstrations in France and their reasons.

The media at the time reported that the French were protesting the increase of their retirement age from 60 to 62, but this was only part of the proposed legislation. It also raised the age for retirement with FULL benefits from 65 to 67.

Most of the French retiring early do so with only partial benefits. This is an important distinction, yet most media outlets have stubbornly refused to report it.

It seems that they have decided that the French are whiners and complainers - come on, is 62 years old for retirement really such a bad deal? - and want their news audiences to think that too.

But that¦#39;s not the entire story, many French effectively are having their retirement age increased to 67, not 62 as widely reported. It¦#39;s amazing to me that the media can¦#39;t get this simple distinction right. Perhaps they don¦#39;t want to. It would be nice if the Local didn't repeat these inaccurate reports.
00:29 November 15, 2010 by Eagle1
Boo Hoo. Shut your cakeholes and get to work, lazy bastards.
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