German Economy Minister Altmaier to seek a reopening deal

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier announced a slew of planned improvements to Germany’s shutdown that would support businesses and self-employed people following a consultation with more than 40 business associations on Tuesday.

The minister, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), revealed plans for a one-off payment of €7,500 ($9,080) to self-employed workers who have been hit hard by the pandemic shutdown.

He also said a “hardship fund” would ease some of the problems that certain businesses have had in accessing government financial support. Large companies with revenues of over €750 million would also be able to request interim aid.

A schedule for when different branches of the economy will be able to reopen would be discussed at the beginning of March at the next pandemic-related meeting between Germany’s federal and state governments, Altmaier promised. 

Germany’s current shutdown is set to last until at least March 7, and politicians have made it clear that it is not likely to end then. They have, however, raised the prospect of a potential loosening of some restrictions, especially if variants do not spread widely in the country. READ DW.COM’s FULL STORY