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Germany

Politicians, People Polled on Reform Process

The results of two separate surveys on Germany's reform process have been published, which, taken together, provide an insight into how both the population and the politicians see the current situation. The Forsa Institute polled 1,300 politicians across the country, while an online survey conducted by the consulting group McKinsey sought the views of over 450,000 citizens. The results? Both a majority of politicians and citizens agree that the reform process is necessary. A majority of political representatives thought that Germany's problems are often played down by politicians. That could explain the overwhelming majority of citizens who say they've lost trust in the government and unions. Most citizens are prepared to accept major reforms, especially if they address their main concerns, which include better schools, better conditions for families with children, and a more dynamic economy. However, they draw the line at toying with Germany's job protection laws. Only 28 percent said they'd accept more flexible hiring and firing practices, even if that meant more job creation.