Germany develops plan for eurozone growth

Germany develops plan for eurozone growth
Photo: DPA
Germany is developing a six-point plan to boost growth in Europe, a magazine reported on Friday, amid a heated debate among EU leaders on how to best help indebted eurozone states.

The plan, being worked on by the German government, includes setting up special economic zones in crisis-hit countries which could woo investors with lower taxes and less regulation, Der Spiegel said, without revealing its sources.

Special bodies to privatise state-owned enterprises, along the same lines as when the assets of the former communist East Germany were sold off following German unification, would be created, the magazine said in a copy of its Monday edition.

In addition, the proposals included labour market reforms, such as making it easier to hire and fire employees and bringing down wage costs.

The plan further entailed proposals to boost on-the-job training for young people, similarly based on the long-established German model, the magazine said.

Most Germans reject eurobonds, a hotly-debated proposed tool for pooling eurozone debt to help fight the crisis, and are against Greece remaining in the euro, according to a poll published on Friday.

The survey for public broadcaster ZDF showed that 79 percent of those asked said they opposed the introduction of Eurobonds – in line with the position of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Fourteen percent backed the tool, which is being spearheaded by new French President Francois Hollande but which Berlin argues would remove pressure for reform in spendthrift countries and also undermines market discipline.

Germans have also become increasingly sceptical about Greece’s membership of the eurozone, with 60 percent against, while 31 percent backed its continued use of the single currency, the poll showed.

Last November, 49 percent of those asked the same question were against Athens being part of the euro.

Some 1,312 people were surveyed between May 22 and 24.


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