In April of 1996, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl intended to implement an Austerity Plan which would limit benefits for Public Works employees and increase the hours in their work week without increasing pay. This plan would reduce Germany’s spending by $33 billion, contributing to a decrease in their budget deficit. A decreasing budget deficit would enable Germany to join other European nations in creating and using a single European currency (what would become the Euro).
On 15 June 1953, in East Berlin, construction workers on the Stalinallee Avenue began to voice their issues with the SED’s (Socialist Unity Party) new regulations. The SED trade union officials, following mass worker emigration from East Germany, increased worker production requirements to fulfill their desired targets. However, the SED trade union officials announced that workers would be paid at the same rate, thus effectively decreasing the value of each worker.
Following a loss in World War I, Germany was charged to pay reparations for their destructive role. The bill was $33 billion. Germany had been weakened by the war and paying the reparations at the rate in which they were due would have completely crippled the country. Germany therefore tried to gain more time to pay. The Germans set forth a proposal for U.S banks to loan funds for the reparations and for France to reevaluate the reparations.