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Europe prepares 130 bln euro growth package

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-20

German Economy Minister Michael Glos said that the European Union is preparing a growth package of around 130 billion euros. The European Commission responded that there was not yet an agreement on the amount.

The European Commission is planning a 130-billion-euro (163-billion-dollar) economic stimulus programme, a spokeswoman for the German economy ministry said Wednesday.
  
"That represents one percent of gross domestic product for each member state," she told AFP.
  
"For Germany, that means 25 billion euros."
  
German news weekly Der Spiegel reported earlier that the Commission would also set aside some of its own funds to arrive at the 130-billion-euro sum.
  
The Commission is due to present proposals to grapple with the impact of the global financial crisis on November 26.
  
Commission spokesman Johannes Laitenberger said no decision had been taken on the stimulus package.
  
"It is premature to talk about the size and specific orientation of the package because the preparatory work is still underway and there has not yet been a definitive political decision," Laitenberger told AFP.
  
German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm stressed that Berlin had just committed 32 billion euros over the next two years to its own economic jumpstart plan and expected that to figure in Brussels' calculations.
  
"It is unimaginable that our own programme would not be taken into account" by the EU Commission, he told the daily Financial Times Deutschland in an article to appear in its Thursday issue.
  
Other member states have cried poverty amid calls for a continent-wide growth plan and the European Commission is likely to seek to redirect funds committed to other efforts to the new package.
  
The 15-nation eurozone confirmed last week it had fallen into recession for the first time ever, with gross domestic product in the economies using the euro falling by 0.2 percent in the third quarter after a similar drop in the second quarter

Date created : 2008-11-19

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