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Germany

Bank Plans Loans for German Students

Germany's state-owned development bank, KfW, said Tuesday it would offer study loans for all university students by the semester beginning in autumn 2005. The bank was reacting to a landmark decision last week by Germany's highest court allowing individual federal states to charge tuition fees for university students for the first time. The move has sparked widespread student protests. The KfW bank said the loans would be offered regardless of students' subjects of study or their parents' financial situation, adding that would allow students to make ends meet while focusing on their studies. The KfW stressed that the loans, amounting to €650 ($846) per month, would also lead to significantly lower study durations. The bank said it would charge an interest of around 5 percent a year on the loans.

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