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BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In view of the immense costs of the corona pandemic, Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier has proposed to examine the sale of billion-dollar government shares in companies. The CDU politician told “Welt am Sonntag”: “The value of state investments has grown significantly in recent years. We should therefore examine which state investments can be reduced. That also brings money into the state coffers that we use for future investments good use. “
The federal government holds stakes in, for example, Deutsche Post (Deutsche Post), Deutsche Telekom (Deutsche Telekom) and Commerzbank. Altmaier’s move comes in the midst of a debate about how the federal budget should continue in the coming years – whether new debts should be taken on, whether there should be tax increases or spending cuts. The federal government has taken on immense debts, for example to finance aid programs worth billions for the economy.
For this, the debt brake anchored in the Basic Law was overridden. Recently, Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) started a debate about the continued existence of the debt brake. It allows only a very small amount of new loans. The corona crisis, however, continues. The federal government expects less growth this year than initially hoped.
Altmaier told the newspaper that he still considered the debt brake to be correct. “It disciplines and functions and gives future generations enough financial leeway. It is sufficiently flexible to be able to act in times of crisis.” It was only because the public finances were effectively consolidated with the debt brake that Germany had such a good reputation on the international financial markets. “We have to do everything we can to ensure that it stays that way. As long as this trust exists, we can borrow money at very low or even negative interest rates.”
The minister again opposed tax increases. “The faster the economy gets going again and can let its self-healing powers work, the more tax revenues will grow without us having to increase taxes.” This is the best prerequisite for being able to return to the normal state of the debt brake.
In response to the newspaper’s remark in the interview that that alone will not be enough, Altmaier said: “You are right, we must also set better framework conditions and significantly reduce the bureaucracy.” Then came the statements about the state holdings./hoe/DP/fba