German leader meets with unions and employers to combat inflation

BERLIN -- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with top employers and labor union representatives Monday at his Berlin office to discuss ways to address rising prices while also preventing an inflation spiral in Europe's largest economy.

German leader meets with unions and employers to combat inflation

BERLIN -- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with top employers and labor union representatives Monday at his Berlin office to discuss ways to address rising prices while also preventing an inflation spiral in Europe's largest economy.

Monday's meeting was billed by the government as the first of a series that aims to find a broad alliance for solutions. Germany's annual inflation rate is 7.6%, which is close to a half century high. On the guest list was also the head of Germany's central banks.

Steffen Hebestreit (Scholz's spokesperson) stated that "we will need to have results in fall," but did not specify when.

Wage deals in Germany are usually negotiated between unions and employers covering a broad industrial sector.

Scholz referred to a recent agreement in chemical industry as an "interesting" solution when he announced his "concerted actions against price pressure" a month ago.

To counter rising prices, the representatives of workers and employers agreed to a one-time payment for each employee of 1,400 euros ($1,460). They also delayed talks on a formal wage rise until October in the hope that the economic outlook would be better.

Scholz tried to dispel any suggestion that he believed such one-time payments should be replaced by formal wage increases on Sunday. He told ARD television that "no one is suggesting that actual wage rises should not occur because of this."

Germany temporarily reduced the taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel at the beginning of June. It also introduced a very cheap ticket that allows you to use all local and regional public transport for just nine euros per month. These measures will be in effect for three months.

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