Germany to receive €25.6 billion in Covid-19 recovery aid

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FILED - A gernal view of the European flags in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa

Germany will likely receive billions of euros in pandemic recovery funds after the European Commission approved Berlin’s spending plans on Tuesday.

After weeks of scrutiny, the European Commission endorsed the German relief package of 25.6 billion euros (30.4 billion dollars) from the bloc’s recovery package in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which totals 750 billion euros.

EU countries still need to agree to the plans, but this is considered a formality.

“This plan contains essential measures that will support Germany to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a press release.

According to an EU official, 42 per cent of the money is to be spent on projects that contribute to climate goals. For example, 2.5 billion euros are earmarked for renovating residential buildings to make them more energy efficient.

And 52 per cent would go to projects designed to foster Germany’s digital transformation, some of which overlap with projects that are also counted as contributing to the green transition.

However, the EU official said, the plans were no “panacea for all the challenges” that the country’s economy faced.

But European parliamentarians and non-governmental organizations have voiced concern in recent weeks about whether much of the money is really doing what EU states agreed it should.

The Climate Action Network, for example, argues that the EU is “green-washing” its budget by allowing projects that harm biodiversity or investing in fossil fuels.

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