German economy minister backs extending pandemic aid to companies

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German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier confirmed on Monday that he backed extending financial assistance to companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic beyond the current deadline of September.

Altmaier’s spokesperson said the minister welcomed indications from Finance Minister Olaf Scholz to the effect that Scholz would not allow companies to go under, in remarks made to German newspapers published at the weekend.

“Minister Altmaier has long backed extending bridging assistance beyond September to support the companies and employees affected, many of whom will have still longer to combat the corona consequences,” the spokesperson said.

Scholz told the Funke media group: “Nobody should stumble shortly before being saved.” He held out the prospect that furlough support – which provides pay from the state for workers who would otherwise be laid off – and direct aid to companies could be extended beyond the September 30 deadline.

“I want to extend both to the end of the year. We will possibly have to help certain companies into next year,” Scholz said.

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