Germany signals more help for struggling businesses, workers

FRANKFURT: Politicians in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government on Sunday signaled further support for struggling businesses and consumers in the coronavirus crisis, focusing on hotels, restaurants and pay for short-time workers.

Dehoga, an industry association that includes a large share of often small family-owned operations, told Bild am Sonntag that some 70,000 restaurant and hotel operators, which employ 223,000 people, could face insolvency as they stood to lose up to €10 billion of sales by the end of April.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier of Merkel’s conservative party said in an interview with the same newspaper he agreed the sector needed support to get up on its feet again.
“It is clear that we will need additional help to prevent a large part of these companies giving up and disappearing from the market,” he said.
Altmaier said he would look into possibly lowering value added taxes for the industry, but he could also imagine concrete grants to pay for modernization and cost savings measures.
New coronavirus infections and recovery numbers in Germany have been looking more manageable in recent days.
But politicians and authorities agree that economic life can only restart very gradually to avoid fresh waves of rapid infections, leaving businesses starved of turnover.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who represents the Social Democratic party (SPD), also included hotels in those industries that he believed should receive targeted aid in an interview with Welt am Sonntag.

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