German unemployment has risen to 8.3%. This doesn't sound too good but if you read on you will see that only 9000 more people have lost their jobs last month. That is a tiny fraction of the amount losing their jobs in Ireland.
Is it because the Irish economy is in a worse state than Germany's? Well yes, but the Germans have implemented a plan that subsidises jobs, and encourages shorter worker weeks, so that people will take a cut in wages but will not need to go on full unemployment benefit which is a lot of money. It also has the benefit of keeping manufacturing going and thus bringing in VAT and keeping exporters at work.
With a little bit more imagination and we could recover a lot sooner and there would be a lot less people heading towards skid row.
Sometimes simple solutions solve complex problems but trying to solve them invariably solves them quikcer than doing nothing.