BERLIN, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Germany is extending its COVID-19
emergency aid for struggling companies by three months until the
end of this year, the finance and economy ministries said on
Companies with a pandemic-related drop in sales of at least
30 percent can now apply for liquidity aid of up to 10 million
euros per month until the end of December, the ministries said.
The government also extended additional aid schemes to
support companies hit particularly hard by the pandemic as well
as musicians, artists and other solo self-employed.
The aid had been due to expire on Sept. 30.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has also
agreed in principal to extend its short-time work scheme, also
known as Kurzarbeit, until the end of the year to cushion
employees from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cabinet is expected to pass the measure later this
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in Germany in
March 2020, the government has supported struggling companies
with special loans and grants worth nearly 120 billion euros.
In addition, the government invested 38 billion euros
through its short-time work scheme to shield workers from the
brunt of the pandemic, keeping unemployment in check and
stabilizing the disposable income of consumers.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is financing the measures with
record new borrowing of up to 240 billion euros this year and
more than 130 billion euros last year for which parliament had
to suspend strict debt limits in the constitution.
Scholz, the centre-left Social Democrat candidate to succeed
conservative Angela Merkel as chancellor in a Sept. 26 election,
has proposed suspending the debt brake for a third year in a row
in 2022 to allow additional borrowing of nearly 100 billion
euros next year.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber
Editing by Gareth Jones)