Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has been trying to shift the blame for the country’s record high unemployment on to business leaders. Schroeder said in newspaper interviews that companies should stop their endless talk about moving production abroad and he accused them of breaking promises to create new jobs.
Echoing the complaints of the unions, Schroeder said the government has cut corporate taxes and wage costs as well as removed barriers for companies to hire new workers and they should now invest in Germany.
The state of the German economy is piling political pressure on his Social Democrates. They are trailing in opinion polls in the heavily industrial state of Rhine Westphalia where there are elections on 22 May.
The unemployment figures to be released on Thursday reportedly have fallen only slightly this month compared with February and are down less than in previous years when the jobs market traditionally picks up in the spring. At the same time a survey of Germany’s top thirty companies found they had eliminated 35 jobs in Germany last year, but added 9,500 in foreign subsidiaries.