German Bundestag Passes Law to Fight Illegal Work | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 06.05.2004
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German Bundestag Passes Law to Fight Illegal Work

The German Bundestag on Thursday passed a law aimed at cracking down on illegal employment. German Finance Minister Hans Eichel said that the government and social coffers lost as much as €37 billion yearly through illicit workers and called the law a "further building block" to create more employment. The conservative opposition has welcomed the aim of the law, but said in reality taxes and levies -- the real cause of illegal employment -- needed to be lowered. The Christian Democratic Union's labor expert, Elke Wülfing, criticized that the law, which lays emphasis on penalties and legal action, "focuses one-sidedly on repression and doesn't tackle the real roots of the problem." After Thursday's passage in the lower house of parliament, the opposition will get the chance to force some change as it dominates the upper house of parliament.