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Germany

Upper House Rejects Daycare Bill

Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has turned down proposed legislation to improve and expand the country's daycare offerings. Bavaria's state secretary in charge of family issues, Christa Stewens, said that while the conservative opposition was 100 percent in agreement with the bill's goals, the financing of the bill was "unrealistic." Additionally, there were considerable doubts about whether the federal government was even responsible for the issue of daycare. The conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), recommended that the government present a new proposal. Family Minister Renate Schmidt rejected the opposition's criticism, saying the government had to put forward a bill as the daycare situation barely improved in the past. She said she was prepared to discuss the proposal's financing, but demanded that the conservative parties compromise, as Germany could not afford to be among the worst EU countries when it comes to daycare.

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