Germany to return to austerity policy once coronavirus crisis over – minister

BERLIN, March 24 (Reuters) – The German government will return to its savings policy once the coronavirus crisis is over, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told ZDF broadcaster on Tuesday, adding that Europe’s largest economy had committed to paying debt back from 2023.

Germany on Monday agreed a package worth up to 750 billion euros ($812.25 billion) to mitigate the damage of the coronavirus outbreak on Europe’s largest economy, with Berlin aiming to take on new debt for the first time since 2013.

“We’re taking the money out at favourable conditions on the capital market and the conditions are only so favourable because everyone believes in us and trusts that we will only do this as long as is necessary,” he said.

“Once the crisis is over – and we hope this will be the case in several months – we will return to austerity policy and, as soon as possible, to the balanced budget policy,” he added. ($1 = 0.9234 euros) (Reporting by Michelle Martin Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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