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Commission Named to Revamp Germany's Social System

German Health and Social Affairs Minister Ulla Schmidt of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Thursday announced the members of a new commission expected to propose a revamping of Germany’s crumbling social system. Headed by economics expert Bert Rürup and modeled along the lines of the controversial Hartz Commission for labor reforms, the new independent body has until autumn 2003 to come up with concrete proposals for shoring up Germany’s ailing pension and state health insurance systems. Commission members include scientists, management consultants, managers, union representatives and regional politicians.