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Business

Reports: Plans for Big Spending Program

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is planning a multi-million-euro spending program to boost Germany’s sluggish economy and lower record unemployment, according to news reports. Following Tuesday’s announcement of a new post-war record of 5.2 million jobless Germans, there’s been a hectic search within the Schröder government for ways out of the current economic troubles. Experts say the economic growth rate of just 1.2 percent expected this year is too weak to create a substantial number of jobs. As a result of the dire outlook, Schröder is making plans for an economic stimulus program for small and medium-sized companies to the tune of €700 million ($918.6 million), according to newspaper reports. In addition, the chancellor appears willing to take up an offer from the conservative opposition for talks on the economic situation. On Wednesday, CDU leader Angela Merkel urged the Schröder government to take swift action, preferably within a cross-party initiative called "Pact for Germany."

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