Press Release Coronavirus

German Economy Minister: State Will Cover November Corona Lockdown Damage

In an extended press conference after the government announced a four-week temporary lockdown, Peter Altmaier offered reassuring words about its negative economic impact.

Berlin (GTAI) - German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier told reporters that sufficient state aid will be available for businesses as Germany prepares to enter a partial, temporary lockdown from November 2 to November 30.

The government has promised EUR 10 billion in additional emergency economic assistance amidst a series of new restrictions for the coming four weeks. Bars and restaurants, for instance, will be shuttered and hotels prohibited from accommodating most travelers. Altmaier said that there would be no limits on applications for the aid.

He also said that “from a purely legal standpoint” the measures, colloquially known as “lockdown light,” would be confined to the four weeks in question. The restrictions were announced on Wednesday October 28 after a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of Germany 16 regional states.

Altmaier underscored that at present Asia – a crucial market for the German economy – was experiencing robust economic recovery. He did not explicitly walk back his ministry’s prognosis of 4.4 percent growth for 2021 with a likely return to pre-corona levels in early 2022, but he did say that any predictions would depend on possible restrictions made necessary by the pandemic.

Germany’s Federal Statistical Office has calculated that German GDP grew by 8.2 percent in Q3 2020 compared with the previous quarter. Economists expect the November lockdown to stymie that growth, but many argue that the effect will be temporary and that the lockdown will actually speed Germany’s economic recovery in the medium term.


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