Wow, thank you very much, that was exactly the answer to the question.
wtf are you doing using this module?!
You are right, I started using it more than ten years ago and did not really look at the warning, constant amateur behaviour.
No, XML::Simple is not an XML parser.
Something I did not realize
local $XML::Simple::PREFERRED_PARSER = 'XML::Parser';
Defining the Parser leads to the expected behaviour and solves the task.
I will have to try to move on to something else and will start with XML::Rules. Nevertheless the not recommended module works as it should with the above.
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