Germany rejects labelling stimulus package a damp squib

Germany rejects labelling stimulus package a damp squib
Photo: DPA
The German government on Monday rejected a report that its second stimulus package was failing to ignite Europe’s largest economy.

Spokesman Klaus Vater said there was no indication that money was not flowing to stimulus projects around the country, as reported by the daily Die Welt.

“I have absolutely no doubt that the programme is being accepted, that it’s working, and that the funds will flow,” Vater said.

The newspaper had reported in its Monday edition that only €200 million of €10 billion that the federal government had set aside to help spark growth had so far been tapped by the country’s 16 states.

Citing figures from state finance and interior ministries, Die Welt said investment had fallen far short of the €5 billion earmarked for this year. The entire €10-billion sum is meant to be used for stimulus measures through the end of 2010.

However, some states said many projects to be funded by the stimulus programme had already been started before the federal funds were booked.

Germany is set to suffer through its worst recession since World War II this year and Berlin has faced heavy criticism from some quarters for allegedly taking a lax approach to combating the dramatic downturn. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also compelled to defend her government’s €80-billion stimulus efforts at the beginning of the year after they were slammed as being too little and taking effect too late.

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