Altmaier announces further government participation in the crisis

Federal Minister of Economics Altmaier

The federal government could reduce its stake in Commerzbank after the general election in 2021.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin According to Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, the German state will look into the corona crisis after the Lufthansa participate in other companies at risk of their existence. “We are probably talking about a few dozen cases,” said the CDU politician of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“In this very limited number of cases, we will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the economic stabilization fund and, if necessary, also participate.” Other strategic investments, such as that in the vaccine manufacturer Curevac, are apparently planned. However, there will be only “few” of these. “I have always made it clear that government participation must be the absolute exception.”

Regarding the situation at Lufthansa, the minister said that the state would not stand in the way of possible layoffs. “If the board comes to the conclusion that layoffs are inevitable, it is up to the social partners to negotiate responsibly.” He sees no point in officials deciding which restructuring measures are right or wrong.

According to the Executive Board, Lufthansa has 22,000 full-time jobs too long-term. The airline had to be saved from bankruptcy due to the business slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic with a nine billion euro government finance package. The State Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) is the largest shareholder of Lufthansa with 20.05 percent.

With a view to the federal government’s share in the Commerzbank Altmaier asked for a decision next year. “I think it is right that after the next federal election we will make a decision about which state holdings should be privatized in order to prevent an increase in state influence. I see a good chance that the situation at Commerzbank will stabilize by then. ”

The federal government had joined Commerzbank a good ten years ago to protect it from collapse in the financial crisis. With 15.6 percent, the state is still the largest shareholder in the money house. After a dispute over the bank’s future strategy, CEO Martin Zielke and Supervisory Board chief Stefan Schmittmann have announced their resignation.

More: Direct state participation in companies can only be the ultimate means. The importance of Curevac in the corona crisis doesn’t change anything, says Handelsblatt editor Gregor Waschinski.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.