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Germany's big bail-out becomes law

Germany's big bail-out becomes law
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Germany’s biggest post-war bail-out designed to ward off financial meltdown has passed in time for next week.

The huge 500 billion euro safety package has been signed into law after passing overwhelmingly in Germany’s upper and lower chambers of parliament.

Economy Minister Michael Glos denounced those who said the measures didn’t go far enough:

‘‘Those who speak of a general national economic crisis only want to cause panic, like the left in this chamber, and make political profit,’‘ he said.

Green party leader Renate Kunast also criticised the news that Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann had renounced his bonus:

‘‘When I read this morning that ‘Ackermann gives up’, I hoped for a second, but afterwards, I read that he’d given up his bonus. ‘That he thinks he deserves a bonus this year instead of giving up all his salary, this is an unbelievable nerve,’‘ said Kunast.

A view shared by leading Social Democrat leader Peter Struck, on hearing the Deutsche Bank chief’s decision not to take a bonus.

With growth estimated to reach only 0.2 percent in 2009 a string of data shows the country is heading for recession.

The latest opinion polls suggest one in five Germans believe they have been affected by the recent financial crisis.