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Business

German Group Decries Waste of Tax Money

In its 33rd annual report, the German Association of Taxpayers announced Tuesday that over 30.5 billion euros ($36.6 billion) were wasted by public projects in Germany last year. The blacklist included a 550,000-euro "spiral staircase" for fish in Schleswig-Holstein over a six-meter (19.6-foot) dam and into a lake deemed inhospitable by environmentalists and an 8.2-million euro piece of real estate in the middle of Berlin for the state of Hesse that ended up as a parking lot. In absolute figures, 30 billion euros is about 5 percent of what cash-strapped Germany spends each year, but other economics experts are quick to criticize the association's methods. German Federal Audit Office President Dieter Engels said the calculations did not present a serious picture of federal spending. Social Democrat Joachim Poss called the figures a "running gag" that was not supported by any proof.

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