Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has given the go-ahead for a massive economic stimulus package of tax-cuts and spending on the country’s infrastructure. Worth 50-billion euros, it is designed to help Europe’s biggest economy ride out its worst recession since World War Two.
The Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We want to safeguard work for everyone and build bridges to the future by investing for example in education, by securing part-time work, by getting more employees qualified and investing in new technology.” She reckons the plan – which comes on top of a 31 billion euro package last year – will help Germany emerge from the crisis stronger than it went in. There will be tax cuts for individuals and companies to the tune of 18-billion, and a similar amount for infrastructure projects. But it means public borrowing will rise to nearly 39-billion euros — more than three times last year’s level.