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GERMAN LOCAL AUTHORITIES FACE FINANCIAL CRISIS

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Financial problems have left local authorities in Germany in a state of crisis, reports the Financial Times (p3). ...
Financial problems have left local authorities in Germany in a state of crisis, reports the Financial Times (p3).

Association of German Cities economist Hanns Karrenberg said: The situation is one of unprecedented gravity.'

The paper reports councils have to switch off traffic lights and shut swimming pools.

Sharply higher charges for rubbish clearance, sewerage and water, and kindergarten places are chipping away at families' disposable income and curbing consumption and retail sales.

The borrowing powers of German local authorities are strictly limited which means the financial problems of towns and rural districts have been felt quickly in local communities as cuts in services or rising charges, the FT reports.
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