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Government to Lighten Insurers' Load

Industry pressure appears to have paid off on Monday as Financial Times Deutschland reported that the German government would grant insurers massive tax breaks. Insurance companies will be allowed to write-off losses incurred at the stock market, which could save the industry up to €10 billion ($11.7 billion) in 2003. Insurer Munich Re alone could reap around €750 million from the changed legislation, Financial Times Deutschland estimated. The bill is expected to be included in the wide-ranging package of reforms Germany's parliament will vote on Friday.