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Germany

Internet Job Exchange Plans Put on Ice

The new chief of Germany's labor office has put on hold plans to develop the agency's online job placement service due to skyrocketing costs. New calculations indicate the virtual job exchange would cost €165 million ($205 million) by 2008. Originally, the Web site's development, which the consulting firm Accenture was commissioned to carry out, was expected to cost €65 million. The labor office announced on Wednesday that instead of continuing to expand the services, problems with the Web site, www.arbeitsagentur.de , should first be corrected. At the same time, Frank-Jürgen Wiese, who said when he took office earlier this month that he would "mercilessly" examine labor agency undertakings, fired the head of the project, Jürgen Koch. Intended as one of the office's showcase projects, the Web site went online in December. It has been criticized for being slow, instable and failing to deliver requested information.

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