Coalition partners have reached an agreement to stop handing out 2.5 billion euros in annual subsidies to the industry by 2018. The country has eight coal mines, employing almost 40,000 workers. Officials say there’ll be no forced redundancies because most of those working in the mines will have already reached retirement age by 2018.
There’d been months of fierce debate on the issue among the coalition partners – the Christian Democrats, the CDU, and the Social Democrats, the SPD. The parties have agreed to reexamine the issue in 2012 with the regional governments in the provinces most affected.