Reform At Last?

Germany's Kohl has started down a painful but necessary path

It was a most German way of fomenting revolution. At private meetings and industrial powwows earlier this year, Germany's top industrialists repeated their refrain. Battered by the world's highest labor costs, toughest work rules, and most punishing social taxes, many had decided they couldn't invest another pfennig profitably in the homeland. The time had come for a rethinking of Germany's economic rules. Individually and in groups, they met with Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the steel-and-glass chancellery in Bonn. Their message: Germany's social contract wasn't working, and they were ready to abandon it.

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