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The most important and the most controversial part of the social reform comes into effect:  a concept bringing together the former unemployment benefits and the welfare benefits. It is known by the name of Hartz IV. “Promoting and demanding“ is its motto. Due to rushed and poor planning, the reform suffers a miserable start.

In Berlin, the young Turkish woman Hatun Sürücü is killed by her own brother. Disapproving of the lifestyle of his sister who had discarded her headscarf and wanted to live like a German woman, the offender claims his motive to be an insult brought to the “family honour“. “Honour killings“ become the subject of dicussion in both politics and society.

In view of the persisting struggle about the direction of his own party and the red-green coalition, Federal Chancellor Schröder takes the risk of calling a snap election. However, his strategy fails. A grand coalition of the CDU/CSU and the SPD is formed with CDU leader Angela Merkel as chancellor.

What else happened?

The German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected Pope.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (“Holocaust-Mahnmal“) is inaugurated in Berlin.

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