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Business

Industry Group urges Conservatives to Support Reforms

The president of the German Industry Association (BDI), Michael Rogowski, said on Monday the conservative opposition should not use a landslide victory in state elections in Bavaria on Sunday as an excuse to block the center-left ruling coalition’s planned economic and welfare reforms. “We hope that the opposition doesn’t try to sink the Agenda 2010 at every turn, but rather constructively complements it,” said Rogowski in Berlin, according to the German news agency DPA. Saying Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s so-called Agenda 2010 was only the beginning of necessary reforms, Rogowski also presented the BDI’s own suggestions to help get the moribund German economy going. He said the group’s most important goal was to lower the amount of government spending as a share of gross domestic product from its current 48 percent to 40 percent by 2010. In order to spark growth, Rogowski said, social security non-wage labor costs should fall to 35 percent and the highest tax rate should drop to 30 percent.