New debate on Germany’s welfare benefits system: SPD and the Greens want to leave Hartz IV behind

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At a time when the Social Democrats (SPD) are drastically losing support, the Green Party’s popularity is at an all-time high. Both parties have opened a new debate on how to reform the welfare benefits system, also known as Hartz IV which was introduced by a Red-Green coalition 15 years ago under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

We spoke to Nana Brink, host and journalist for Deutschlandfunk Kultur, to examine the details of the debate and what it means for both parties as they seek to define themselves to voters. According to Brink, for the Greens the debate is important, because: “They need another focus. Green is not enough, you have to concentrate on labor issues as well.”


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