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People and Politics

Bitter Legacy - The Social Democrats and the Hartz Reforms

A decade ago, Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder -- Germany's Chancellor at the time -- launched the biggest labour market reforms in the Republic's history. These measures became known as the Hartz reforms.

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Some view them as a success story that's reduced Germany's unemployment levels, others see them as an instrument that punishes those who are out of work. But there's no denying that Gerhard Schröder and the Social Democrats paid a heavy price for implementing these reforms. It cost them the support of the unions and many voters.