Grinding Down Steel

Plagued with too much plant and too little demand, Europe stumbles over a plan that may cost 60,000 jobs

IN ITS HEYDAY, THE VAST EKO STAHL steelworks was the life-force of Eisenhuttenstadt, a utopian socialist city of 50,000 southeast of Berlin and the pride of the German Democratic Republic. Today the complex of six factories is a hulk dominated by a single operating blast furnace. It glows over an industrial wasteland near the Polish border where thousands have lost their jobs. Since unification, Eko Stahl has cut 85% of its eastern German work force as it closed or restructured its inefficient and overstaffed - plants. The number at Eisenhuttenstadt has shrunk from 12,000 to 3,500, and the remaining workers are...

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