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Media: Germany plans second stimulus package worth 40 billion euros
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11:15, December 20, 2008

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The German government has planned its second stimulus package worth up to 40 billion euros (around 56 billion U.S. dollars) to fight recession, the on-line German magazine Spiegel reported on Friday.

The funds would be spent on public infrastructure improvements, especially on roads, schools and high-speed Internet access, as well as on tax cuts and decreases in health insurance costs, the magazine quoted government sources as saying.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced some tough criticism in recent weeks, both at home and abroad, over her government's handling of the economic downturn.

Earlier on Thursday, Merkel met with the governors of Germany's16 states to discuss the package, but the details are yet to be ironed out and the politicians will meet again Tuesday.

The final decisions on where exactly the investments will be channelled won't be made until mid-January when an inter-ministerial working group presents its plan, according to Spiegel.

Berlin also wants to wait until Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president on Jan. 20 so that it can assess the extent of Washington's economic stimulus measures.

Earlier in October, Merkel's government announced a huge financial rescue plan worth nearly 500 billion euros (about 697 billion U.S. dollars), amounting to about 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

In November, the German government approved a stimulus package, including measures of tax breaks and ecouraging spending, aimed at triggering investments of up to 50 billion euros (about 69.7 billion U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua

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