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FINANCE

Germany to borrow less from the bond markets

Germany plans to borrow €250 billion ($331 billion) on the markets next year, or slightly less than in 2012, officials said on Thursday.

Germany to borrow less from the bond markets
Photo: DPA

German debt bonds are seen as safe haven assets within the debt-stricken eurozone.

Although Berlin had initially expected to also raise €250 billion this year, the amount ended up increasing to 255 billion due to Germany’s contribution to European rescue funds.

Next year it expects to raise €173 billion on the medium- and long-term bond markets, with more or less even quarterly amounts spread through the year, finance agency figures showed.

The amount is at the lower end of forecasts by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, whose figures ranged from €172 billion to €177 billion. The rest of the total will be raised on the money markets.

Additionally the federal government and regions plan to issue for the first time next year a joint bond, with details, including on its value, to be announced at a later date.

Germany announced earlier this month that it would balance its budget two years earlier than expected as its relative resilience to the debt crisis has enabled it to enjoy higher tax revenues and lower financing costs.

The Finance Ministry said it expected to reach a balanced budget in 2012, not 2014 as envisaged earlier this year.

AFP/mry

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FRANKFURT

Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.

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