Stimulus package funding goes untapped in four states

Stimulus package funding goes untapped in four states
Photo: DPA
Six months after the passage of Germany's stimulus package, four of the country's 16 states have yet to tap the €10 billion set aside by the federal government to stimulate growth, daily Bild reported on Thursday.

According to a Federal Court of Auditors report attained by Bild, the states of Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia hadn’t called up the stimulus cash by mid-August.

Meanwhile the state of Hesse has only claimed €60,000 in stimulus money – just 0.02 percent of the available €360,000 set aside for the state in 2009.

In total, German states have received €95.4 million, or just one percent of the allotted funding for development projects. Most of this has gone to North Rhine-Westphalia, followed by Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The entire €10-billion sum is meant to be used for stimulus measures through the end of 2010.

Pro-business Free Democratic spokesperson for city development Patrick Döring said failure of states to access the money signals a government failure.

“The numbers show that the stimulus package working too slowly and too late,” he told the paper. “Furthermore, the government claim that the German stimulus package is responsible for the recent slight upswing doesn’t match up.”

Earlier this month the German government rejected a report by daily Die Welt that stimulus money was failing to ignite Europe’s largest economy.

Despite encouraging revisions in negative growth projections for 2009, Germany is still set to set to suffer through its worst recession since World War II and Berlin has faced heavy criticism from some quarters for allegedly taking a lax approach to combating the dramatic downturn.

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