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Paper Prints Only Good News in Christmas Issue

Fri Dec 24, 7:42 AM ET Oddly Enough - Reuters

By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - Dropping its daily diet of stories on crime, corruption and evil wrongdoing, Germany's top-selling Bild newspaper printed only good news in its Christmas issue Friday.

"No parking tickets today -- traffic wardens have day off!" the newspaper with 12 million readers wrote.

Bild turned a scandal involving the opposition Christian Democrats on its head, cheering a generous severance payment of 52,000 euros that the disgraced general secretary, Laurenz Meyer, received after quitting under pressure Wednesday.

"Merry Christmas! Fantastic severance pay package for Laurenz Meyer," Bild wrote, days after it led the attack on Meyer for taking payments from another former employer, which sparked the public outrage that led to his resignation.

German share prices and the euro's value versus the dollar hit record highs, consumers are spending more, health insurers are lowering fees, and the number of millionaires rose to 1.6 million from 1.1 million in 1998, Bild said on page one.

"That's the conflicting aspect of our time -- that it keeps producing bad news and puts horror on the assembly line even though we are all craving good news," wrote Bild columnist Peter Bacher. "But the good is never completely lost."

Bild even found positive news from overseas.

An Israeli scientist had developed a laser treatment against bad breath and a mugger in Zagreb who was always polite to his victims was finally captured by police.

Bild noted Germans made their own good news at Christmas.

"The procreation rate rises each year during the Christmas holidays," was the headline over a report that the number of births in Germany rises sharply every year in mid-September -- nine months after Christmas.

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