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Germany pledges €550bn aid for corona-hit businesses

The economic stimulus is set to benefit the music and creative industries, with additional help available for German artists and musicians

By Jon Chapple on 16 Mar 2020

German culture minister Monika Grütters

image © Christof Rieken/CDU-CSU

The German government has announced economic stimulus worth more than half a trillion euros to protect business against the effects of the coronavirus, in the biggest financial aid package in the country’s post-war history.

The KfW, Germany’s state development bank, will make available to companies at least €550 billion, and that’s just “for starters”, said Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, on Friday (13 March). “There is no upper limit to the credit offered by the KfW, that’s the most important message,” he said at a press briefing.

Even in its first stage, the rescue package is bigger than the €500bn help offered during the 2008 financial crisis and credit crunch, reports AFP.

Culture minister Monika Grütters says the aid will also benefit the creative industries, which are worth €100bn to the German economy, according to public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

“You can be courageous; the risks will be carried by us”

Additional help is planned for freelance artists, musicians and filmmakers, according to Grütters (pictured), while cultural organisations receiving subsidies will not have to repay them, even if events are cancelled.

A Danish-style emergency aid fund for creative businesses is also under discussion, she adds.

The German government has recommended cancelling gatherings of more than 1,000 people in order to combat the spread of the virus. Several German industry associations have previously called for financial assistance to the live music sector to mitigate the damage caused by cancellations and closures.

According to Scholz, there is no planned end to the wider financial stimulus: “If [the crisis] it lasts longer, we can go on longer,” he said, adding that message to business is: “You can be courageous; the risks will be carried by us.”

 


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