Europe's Social Cushion Is Looking Rather Frayed

Last April, on the eve of the Hanover Trade Fair, Germany's biggest industry expo, Chancellor Helmut Kohl got an earful from disgruntled German bosses. We're not paying one more pfennig in social welfare, they told their leader. Breaking with a century-old consensus that guaranteed the world's plushest social cushion--now costing $590 billion annually--Germany Inc. is in revolt.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.