"This is not about feel-good projects," Bernhard Osburg, president of the German steel association and CEO of Thyssenkrupp's steel division, told reporters, adding Germany needed to protect its competitiveness.

Osburg said the ruling had caused a "loss of confidence" with regard to money Berlin has pledged to help transform industry towards decarbonisation, a key aspect of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's political agenda.

($1 = 0.9168 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Miranda Murray)