Germany’s government is to spend six billion euros developing the country’s hi-tech industries. The initiative will concentrate on research and development, particularly regarding high speed internet access, or “Broadband”, as it is known.
It is part of a 25-billion, four-year project to underpin growth and employment in the country, which has struggled economically for the last few years. Chancellor Angela Merkel made the announcement at the CEBIT IT fair in Hanover. “The plans also include the setting up of a national, yearly, IT summit, to give the German sector a real boost,” she told reporters. But reviving the struggling German economy will be no picnic for Merkel. Record unemployment has led to lower consumer spending, meaning even less economic growth. This summer’s World Cup could hold the key, however. One electronics company is hoping to double its business, mainly thanks to increased sales of flat screen tvs to fans keen to watch the action. The German government hopes this carefully choreographed plan will be the light at the end of the tunnel. Reviving the economy and turning around unemployment were key pledges for Merkel during her election campaign. Some 4000 jobs were created in the German telecoms and hi-tech industries last year, but employment in 2006 is set to remain static.