IN MID-MAY GERMANS were bracing for the third, and longest, national rail strike this year. Deutsche Bahn (DB) was locked in a dispute over pay with EVG, the union representing most German railway workers, including 180,000 at the state-run behemoth. At the last minute union leaders called off a 50-hour stoppage that was going to begin on the evening of May 14th. German travellers breathed a sigh of relief—and then gasped as DB failed to reinstate all of the 50,000 cancelled services. The next day roads were clogged by commuters who, worried about getting stuck at a train station, took the car instead.
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