Germany's six leading economic institutes expect the country's growth to slow next year. Firms like Opel and Karstadt are threatening to lay off thousands. Has the recovery of Europe's largest economy already peaked?
Germany has long been considered the 'sick man' of the European Union, with bad news on the economic front becoming almost routine over the past couple of years. Things look particularly grim in the formerly communist eastern German states, where unemployment remains chronically high. Will the east drag down the still prosperous west? And can Germany compete with the new EU members in cheaper eastern Europe?From painful labor market and welfare reforms to job cuts and poor prospects for growth, DW-WORLD's dossier looks at the woes plaguing Europe's largest economy.