Germany boosts investments to bolster economy amid virus fallout

first_imgMerkel’s coalition could not agree on other measures like an accelerated phase out of the so-called solidarity tax, which helped pay for reunification, or an expansion of funds for state-backed loans and guarantees to ease a cash crunch for companies affected by supply and demand disruptions.The clearest sign that the virus was hitting the German economy came on Friday, when Deutsche Lufthansa AG slashed capacity by as much as 50 percent.“The impact on our booking situation is immense,” Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said in an internal memo to employees seen by Bloomberg. “We must assume that it may take months before we will see first signs of stability,” he said in the Friday message.Read also: Indonesia announces $742m stimulus to shield economy from virus The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken its first steps to help companies and workers affected by the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak and will invest an additional 12.4 billion euros (US$14.1 billion) between 2021 and 2024.After more than seven hours of talks on Sunday night, Merkel’s coalition loosened rules for short-term work compensation, making it easier for big companies heavily affected by the virus like Deutsche Lufthansa AG to apply for aid to offset wages when they are forced to temporarily halt work. “No company in Germany should go bankrupt and no job should get lost due to the coronavirus,” the coalition said in a statement after the meeting.Pressure for Germany to act intensified in the days before leaders of Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc and the Social Democrats met in the chancellery in Berlin. The death of the first German from the coronavirus, a 60-year-old man who vacationed in Egypt, added to the pressure. While short of the full-blown stimulus package that many economists and investors urged, Germany’s government sought to walk a fine line between reassuring business and avoiding public panic. German companies cut spending for a third quarter at the end of 2019, leaving the economy vulnerable to supply chain havoc caused by the outbreak. Gross domestic product stagnated in the fourth quarter, slowing the annualized pace of growth to 0.3 percent.While Germany has Europe’s fullest budget coffers, Merkel’s government has long resisted pressure from the European Central Bank and other institutions to unleash its fiscal power with a stimulus that might benefit the region’s wider economy.European finance ministers were warned last week that a prolonged coronavirus outbreak in the region could threaten “cascading effects” stemming from companies suffering squeezed liquidity, which could then be amplified by financial markets.Empty stadiums?Germany is stepping up efforts to slow the spread. Health Minister Jens Spahn on Sunday proposed canceling events of more than 1,000 people, a move that would rule out most professional sporting events and big concerts. Germany’s professional soccer league vowed to finish the season, but said it would work with authorities about holding matches, opening the door to playing in empty stadiums.Eliminating the solidarity tax — a 5.5 percent surcharge on income — could shore up domestic demand. The tax, levied after the collapse of the Berlin Wall to help fund infrastructure in the former communist East, generated nearly 19 billion euros for the German government in 2018. It had been eliminated for 90% of taxpayers by the coalition — a cut that had been set to take effect in 2021.Read also: Indonesia can afford the coronavirus battle, but…Olaf Scholz, Merkel’s Social Democratic finance minister, had pushed for moving forward the reduction of the tax this summer. He also championed a plan to take on 42 billion euros of debt from cash-strapped communities in an effort to divert local coffers to infrastructure projects, such as school and road repairs.Recession warningMerkel’s CDU had previously ruled out a more sweeping stimulus package to stem the damage wrought by the virus outbreak, arguing that a surge in public spending won’t address worries among consumers and investors.That flew in the face of growing calls by industry groups for more action. The country’s influential industry federation BDI on Thursday warned of a recession and urged the government to consider stimulus measures.The meeting was overshadowed by the refugee crisis at the Greek-Turkish border and a conflict between Merkel’s CDU-led conservative bloc and the Social Democrats over the question of whether Germany should let some of the refugees into the country. The government agreed to help between 1,000 and 1,500 children who need medical treatment in the context of a European “coalition of the willing.”Topics :last_img read more

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Bradley Beal says he tried recruiting players to Wizards during All-Star weekend

first_imgBradley Beal acted as a recruiter last weekend.The 25-year-old guard tallied 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting in Team LeBron’s 178-164 win over Team Giannis on Sunday. He told reporters after the game he tried to convince some of his All-Star teammates to join him on the Wizards. NBA All-Star Game 2019: 3 takeaways from Team LeBron’s comeback win The two-time All-Star is averaging a career-high 25.1 points and 5.4 assists in 37.2 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.The Wizards entered the All-Star break with a 24-34 record. They trail the Pistons by 3 1/2 games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. NBA All-Star Game 2019: 7 crazy stats from Team LeBron’s win over Team Gianniscenter_img “The recruiting process is really going alright. It’s going alright. I’m trying,” Beal said, via NBC Sports Washington. “This is new for me. I’m definitely getting some ears and seeing what guys are looking for.”Beal did not specify which players he spoke with but said he was asked multiple times “How is D.C.?” Related News “I’m going to keep it in my piggy bank, in my back pocket,” Beal said when asked which All-Stars he tried to recruit. “Hopefully we can do something.”last_img read more

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LARGE CROWD EXPECTED FOR SPECTACULAR GLENDOWAN 5K

first_imgScenery like this awaits you this SundayIT has to be amongst the most spectacular settings for a primary school in the whole country.And this Sunday Glendowan National School is inviting you to take part in its annual 5k walk and run….around beautiful Gartan.All funds raised will go directly to the school. Children can take part for free; and it’s €8 for adults, with refreshments served afterwards.Registration is in McClaffertys from 10am – and the walk/run kicks off at 11am. LARGE CROWD EXPECTED FOR SPECTACULAR GLENDOWAN 5K was last modified: January 22nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:5k runCharity eventGlendowan National SchoolMcClaffertysWALKlast_img read more

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