Why Won't Germans Have More Babies?
(DER SPIEGEL) For years, administrations in Berlin have tried to encourage Germans to have more children. Indeed, the Merkel administration has been particularly active on this issue: It has instituted parental leave benefits and guaranteed young children the legal right to a place in a daycare center beginning in August 2013.
To date, the benefits paid to Germans on parental leave -- known in Germany as "Elterngeld" (literally "parents' money") -- have cost the government almost €15 billion ($21 billion). But no matter how much money the state throws at the problem, it won't go away.
A Solution That Has Failed
Last week, Germany's Federal Statistical Office determined that the country has the smallest percentage of children of all European countries. Over the last decade, the number of Germans under the age of 18 has declined by 2.1 million (16.5 percent in 2010). Roderich Egeler, the organization's president, warns: "This downward trend will continue."
Are the British intolerant of children -BBC
The old fashioned view that children should be seen and not heard is still alive and well in the UK according to new research.
The National Family and Parenting Institute says Britain has one of the worst records in Europe for being "family unfriendly". Parents believe restaurants make them feel unwelcome, and people running public transport do little to help.
The report also highlights big differences between Britain and the rest of Europe in terms of maternity leave pay, leave for fathers, working hours and childcare.
Do you think the UK needs to become a more family-friendly nation? What are attitudes towards children like in your country?
Send us your views and experiences. (find other 6 there)
- I have no problem with children who are well behaved and polite, as most people will agree. It's the spoilt little brats who stamp and scream when they don't get their way that most of us cannot stand. Well done to the parents who manage to keep their children under control. It is hard, but isn't that what parenting is all about? Anne, London, UK
- I am astonished by some of the comments on this page. Yes Britain is generally inflexible for families both at work and leisure compared to France where we live now. Children are more accepted socially in restaurants/ bars etc and they are no better or worse behaved over here. But I never imagined that there was such a blatant anti-child portion of the adult population in Britain. Take Nick Hardy or Anon's (chicken) comments for example. I am therefore convinced that Britain will in fifty years time be a nation of old childless whingers. Tim, France