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Germany expands EU small business scheme

Germany expands EU small business scheme
Photo: DPA

Germany plans to expand a credit scheme for small and medium enterprises from crisis-hit Spain to also cover Portugal and Italy, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was quoted as saying Sunday.

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Under the Spain programme, which Schäuble recently presented to parliament, Germany's KfW public investment bank will offer €800 million in loans to businesses via Spain's ICO bank.

"I have told my Portuguese colleagues already: you can have all this too," Schäuble was quoted as telling the business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

The report said Germany would extend the same offer to Italy.

Schäuble is set to meet the Italian and French finance and labour ministers in Rome on Friday.

The report said launching the programme for Greece would initially be more difficult because it lacked a similar development bank, although a partner institution could be set up.

AFP/bk

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