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Record Wave of Insolvencies in Germany

The Federal Association of Debt Collection Agencies (BDIU) said on Thursday it estimated more than 70,000 firms and people in Germany will have filed for bankruptcy by the end of 2002 in the face of a sluggish economy and public reluctance to pay bills. BDIU President Dieter Plambeck said corporate insolvencies this year, estimated at 41,500, will exceed last year’s by a third. The insolvencies are expected to cost the economy about 50 billion euro ($49 billion) in damages and result in the loss of 650,000 jobs. The construction sector and skilled laborers have been the worst-hit by the new wave of bankruptcies, BDIU reported.