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Business Briefs

Deutsche Bahn relaunches its classic discount cards; heat wave will not cause hikes in food prices; Germany's jobless to be put under more pressure to work and more.


Deutsche Bahn has reintroduced its classic loyalty cards

German railways relaunches original discount card

The German railway system, Deutsche Bahn (DB), said the relaunch of its popular "Bahn Card" discount card on Friday had been success. The cards have been reinstated in a bid to boost flagging rail travel in Germany. They replace similar cards introduced last December when DB overhauled its pricing system -- a move which was criticized for being complicated and inflexible. Deutsche Bahn said several hundred of the new travel cards were sold across the country on Friday. The 50 percent discount card, which costs €200 ($225) for one year, was in greatest demand. They previously cost €140.

German jobless under more pressure to work

Germany's long-term unemployed will soon be under more pressure to find work, the ministry for economics and labor confirmed on Friday. Reports in the tabloid Bild and Financial Times Deutschland said the ministry planned to introduce strict new rules for unemployment benefits. These would see benefits given to people who rejected offers of work slashed by an initial 30 percent for a three month period. If they continue to reject offers of work the benefits will be cut further. The government will vote next week on whether to send the proposals -- which are part of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's wide-ranging reforms package "Agenda 2010" -- to parliament. With almost 5 million people out of work in Germany, the government is under pressure to create jobs.

ThyssenKrupp to develop car parts division

Industrial giant ThyssenKrupp has said it wants to substantially expand its division of car-related products in a bid to boost revenue. The Ruhr-based firm said it hopes the move will increase turnover from its current €6.3 billion to between €8 and €10 billion by 2007. The car parts division currently accounts for 30 percent of its total sales. It is the ninth biggest producer of parts for cars in the world.

Drought not expected to cause rise in food prices

Experts have said the continued drought in Germany will not cause considerable increases in food prices, although losses in the upcoming fruit and grain harvest are expected. Slighty higher raw material costs have been the result, as high summer temperatures continue across much of western Europe. The price of a bread roll is only expected to rise by a maximum of 1 cent. Likewise, a small glass of beer will only rise on average by around half a cent. German farmers appealed to the EU in July for increased subsidies to help them re-coup lost earnings due to crop damage caused by the drought.

Compiled with material from wire services.