Agence France-Presse: Berlin offers firms ‘unlimited’ credit in anti-virus package

Berlin on Friday promised “unlimited” credit to help companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic as part of postwar Germany’s biggest help package worth at least 550 billion euros.

“There is no upper limit to the credit offered by (state-owned development bank) KfW, that’s the most important message,” said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

The guarantees, the equivalent of $614 billion, were just “for starters”, said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.

“We promised that we will not fail because of a lack of money and political will. This means that no healthy company, no job should find themselves in trouble,” he said.

“We will reload our weapons if necessary,” added Altmaier.

The package, even in its first stage, is bigger than the 500 billion-euro help offered by the German government during the 2008 financial crisis.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had on Wednesday vowed to do what it takes to tame the coronavirus crisis, signalling she was even ready to suspend the cherished dogma of keeping Germany’s budget balanced.