Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Germany grants assistance to companies and citizens affected by coronavirus

Citizens and companies in Germany, struggling with the coronavirus crisis, will soon be able to receive assistance from the state after the upper house of the German parliament (Bundesrat) today approved a multibillion-dollar aid package, DPA reported.
Measures are planned to save jobs and companies, fund hospitals and preserve citizens' livelihoods and housing. Tenants threatened to lose their home because they can't pay the rent because of the crisis, parents with children unable to go to school, short-time employees, small companies, large corporations and hospitals will be among the recipients of the rescue.

The extraordinary programmes will be financed with €156 billion in new loans, which the German government will withdraw from the capital markets. It is a historic decision overturning the fiscal rules Berlin has adhered to for years, DPA notes. The first funds are expected to reach firms and citizens in difficulty as early as April 1st, BTA reports.

Europe's largest economy has been rocked by the coronavirus epidemic and subsequent measures introduced by authorities against the spread of the disease.

Over 80 percent of the 15,000 German companies surveyed by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce say they expect a significant reduction in revenue this year, according to a study published today. At the beginning of March, only 50 percent of the companies gave such a response.

"If we do not stand up to this development decisively, we will experience economic damage on a historic scale,” said the chamber's president, Eric Schweitzer.

Germany's leading airline carrier Lufthansa (Lufthansa) plans to transfer about 31,000 employees to redundant hours, initially by 31 August, a spokesman said earlier today.