Combating Recession Merkel Announces New Measures to Boost Economy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged billions of euros in fresh public infrastructure investments to boost the flagging economy. The measures, to be announced after Barack Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration, will come on top of the €32 billion package launched earlier this month.


Angela Merkel pledged billions of euros in public road building investments on Tuesday.
DPA

Angela Merkel pledged billions of euros in public road building investments on Tuesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to pump billions of euros into road building and repairs in a second economic stimulus program on top of the €32 billion ($44 billion) one agreed by the government earlier this month.

Merkel was cricized heavily over that first economic package after closer scrutiny revealed that most of the measures had already passed and that the new intiatives were worth only €5 billion a year.

Now, the chancellor is beefing up those initial efforts, and a new program of measures is to be presented shortly after Barack Obama's inauguration as US president on Jan. 20, Merkel said on Tuesday.

"It's obvious that everything will be done in the area of infrastructure that can be done quickly," Merkel said in a speech at the ZEW economic institute in Mannheim, in southwestern Germany.

"I think it will amount to an additional few billions," Merkel said, adding that Germany's regional states should start presenting their road building plans so that construction or repair work could start early next spring.

Merkel added that she was opposed to issuing vouchers to boost consumption. She said the German government knew that the initial stimulus package would not suffice to shore up the economy.

Merkel said that once the new president of the world's largest economy was in office the time would be right for Germany to initiate its second stimulus program. Until then, the government will decide which infrastructure projects to speed up.

cro -- with wire reports

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