The CDU Holds Chancellor Schröder Responsible for Mass Unemployment (March 1, 2005)
In the 1998 Bundestag election campaign, Gerhard Schröder (SPD) had promised effective measures against unemployment, and in his first policy statement to the Bundestag, he announced that higher employment rates and job creation would be the measure of his government. While the jobless rate indeed declined between 1999 and 2001, it rose thereafter as a result of the recession. In light of this, on March 1, 2005, CDU general secretary Volker Kauder (left) and CSU general secretary Markus Söder unveiled a large poster that called attention to the high unemployment level and attacked Schröder as “the chancellor of mass unemployment.” They failed to mention, however, that the rapid (and temporary) jump in unemployment to over 5 million was partially caused by a change in statistical practices in early 2005. With the implementation of the Hartz IV Law, hundreds of thousands of people who had previously been classified as welfare recipients were registered as unemployed. Photo: Tim Brakemeier.