The German government is to return to its savings policy once the COVID-19 crisis is over, German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier told ZDF television yesterday, adding that Europe’s largest economy has committed to paying debt back from 2023.
Germany on Monday agreed on a package of up to 750 billion euros (US$812.16 billion) to mitigate the damage of the pandemic on Europe’s largest economy, with Berlin aiming to take on new debt for the first time since 2013.
“Once the crisis is over — and we hope this will be the case in several months — we will return to an austerity policy and, as soon as possible, to a balanced budget policy,” he said.
The government expects the pandemic to plunge the economy into a recession.
German Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz has said that his latest budget plans were based on the assumption that GDP would shrink by about 5 percent this year.
The government has announced a range of measures to cushion the blow for companies during the crisis, and Altmaier said that the state is prepared to buy stakes in companies that are struggling.
On Monday, EU finance ministers agreed to suspend stringent rules on running public deficits in the bloc in a historic first that allows member states to spend freely to tackle the effects of the pandemic.
The measure effectively halts strict oversight by Brussels of national spending.
The holiday from the EU’s most emblematic fiscal rule is the biggest effort yet by member states to collectively face the pandemic.
The European Central Bank has announced 750 billion euros of monetary stimulus to reassure markets, and freed up banks to lend an extra 1.8 trillion euros.
Additional reporting by AFP
STEPPING UP: The firm has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week and to halt all but essential overseas business travel from next month Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has implemented a remote work policy for employees not on production lines in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. This is the first time in the Hsinchu-based company’s history that it has launched a large-scale remote work policy, joining global technology companies, such as Apple Inc and Google, that encourage employees to work from home. The chipmaker has also asked employees to work in split shifts from this week, it said. As the number of virus infections continues to climb worldwide, TSMC has urged employees to halt unnecessary
A two-hour drive south of Amsterdam in Veldhoven, workers decked out head-to-toe in protective gear toil in vast assembly halls. Before entering the inner sanctuary of the facilities, they meticulously layer on masks, gloves and special socks. A single speck of dust or a hair can have devastating effects on production. The result of all this painstaking process is an environment that is 10,000 times more purified than outside. As COVID-19 grips the world, it might just be the safest place to work right now. The teams belong to ASML Holding NV, which holds a de facto monopoly on the industry of
DBS Bank Ltd yesterday hacked its GDP growth forecast for Taiwan this year to 0.9 percent, down from its estimate of 2.3 percent two months earlier, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing financial market volatility. The bank’s latest forecast was even lower than London-based IHS Markit Ltd’s estimate of 1 percent, while other research institutes’ projections range from 1.6 percent to 2.6 percent. Taiwan’s economic momentum is being negatively affected by the pandemic, DBS said. The rapid spread of the disease from Asia to Europe and the US has dampened the bank’s previous expectation of a “V-shaped” global rebound in the
DOWNSIDE RISKS: Firms have a ‘very low’ chance of boosting investment returns in the next two years, making it hard for them to improve their capitalization, an analyst said Taiwanese life insurers wanting to improve their capital structure face strong headwinds this year, given prolonged low interest rates and economic impacts derived from trade protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) said on Friday. The local life insurance sector also still has high asset risks and such risks are susceptible to market volatility, the local arm of Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said. Since last year, major financial holding companies — including CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) and Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) — have announced plans to raise fresh capital to