German Finance Minister: Germany to Emerge Stronger from the Pandemic

23 January 2021

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – Germany will emerge stronger from the crisis that the pandemic triggered, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Saturday.

Asked in an interview with German daily Münchner Merkur whether, in view of the high economic cost of lockdown, a Covid case incidence of 100 rather than 50 would suffice to reopen the economy, Scholz, according to a text made available by the Finance Ministry, rejected deciding based on ‘purely accounting criteria’ and argued that early reopening could risk higher resulting costs.

Germany’s conservative fiscal policy of the past has allowed the country to respond forcefully to the crisis, he said. After €130 billion in new debt to finance economic support made necessary by the crisis last year, the current year will also bring additional financing needs, he said.

‘But with respect to government finances, it is also clear that after this crisis, Germany will show a smaller level of debt than the other major industrial countries before the crisis’, he said. Citing government investment in renewable energy, e-mobility and digitalization, he affirmed that ‘our country will emerge from the Corona crisis strengthened.’

Scholz defended the extension of Germany’s lockdown to mid-February and asserted that ‘the measures are working’, though he also warned of more infectious mutations of the Coronavirus.