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Yearbook 2001

2001 GermanyGermany. The terrorist act in the United States in September had domestic policy repercussions in Germany. According to Countryaah, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's decision that German troops should participate in the military effort against Afghanistan was met by protests mainly from the coalition partner the environmental party, but also on their own Social Democratic ranks. But Schröder turned it into a matter of confidence, and in November passed a vote of no confidence with a slight margin: 334 of 336 necessary votes. Christian Democratic CDU voted against Schröder even though the party supported the participation.

2001 Germany

Suspected terrorists were hunted in the country, not least when it turned out that several of the US aircraft had studied in Hamburg. A number of people were also arrested and new laws were passed to fight terror.

The crisis of mad cow disease, BSE, harvested its first political victims at the beginning of the year when the Minister of Health and Agriculture resigned. When Schröder appointed a successor, he tried to repair the damage to some extent by extending the Minister of Agriculture's responsibility to "consumer safety". As new "super-minister" for all these issues, environmentalist Renate Künast was elected, who then resigned as a speaker in the party.

At the beginning of the year, Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping outlined earlier plans for heavy cuts to the military, by reducing staff and the closure of garrisons. The savings of DEM 1 billion a year would be used for high-tech military investments.

The German economy was in a deep slump and there was not much at the end of the year to indicate a speedy recovery. Unemployment rose by one percentage point to 9% and growth during the year seemed to fall to a low 0.25%, compared with 3% the previous year.

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