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Germans protest welfare cuts

By CNN's Stephanie Halasz


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BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- About 200,000 people marched in Berlin Saturday to protest the planned government social spending cuts and changes in labor law.

The protest was organized by the German Union Federation, the trade union group, and others.

Police estimated the number of protesters in the capital at 200,000, but the organizers had a slightly higher estimate -- 250,000.

People gathered in the morning at three different squares and marched to the Brandenburg Gate, where speeches were delivered.

The massive protest was described as peaceful.

The cuts involve welfare, pension, social security and health care programs and changes to employee-friendly labor laws.

There were also demonstrations in Cologne and Stuttgart.


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