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Slow motion land

Germany is a much less federal country than most people think. Its "consensual centralism" makes reform very hard to achieve

By Ulrich Pfeiffer   January 2003

The German economic miracle ended at some point during the 1980s. Productivity growth fell and unemployment rose-it is now 7 per cent in the west and 18 per cent in the east. Moreover, the demographic situation is worse than in most European countries. Ten Germans today will average six children between them and they will have no more than four grandchildren. Forty per cent of women graduates will be childless.

One could go on and on citing figures of Germany’s relative decline. But in order to understand why Germans are not more urgently seeking solutions to their problems one must…

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