Corona “Economic Summit”: It’s a sedative pill, nothing more

When Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier meets representatives from 40 business associations for a virtual discussion this Tuesday, hardly anything that can be counted will come out of it. As well as? If each invited association only wanted to make a three-minute statement, the scheduled conference time would have been exceeded. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are also missing to make far-reaching decisions. The full-bodied announcement as an “economic summit” is above all a gesture by the government to the companies. Look here, we won’t let you down with your worries. It’s a sedative pill, nothing more.

The fact that this gesture was necessary despite the multi-billion dollar support programs shows how much has gone wrong in the past weeks and months. Politicians have announced, cocky, quick and unbureaucratic help – and then failed to deliver. “A bazooka was promised, but currently it is still a slingshot without a stone”, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder is said to have recently rumbled. Many in business feel the same way.

When it comes to finding those responsible, politics plays the buck game. The finance minister points to the economics minister, the economics minister to his finance colleagues and the federal states, the federal states point back to the economics minister. And everyone is a little right in their own way.

Through the crisis of the century

Unlike last spring, the countries were happy to be able to save the application and with it the ugly headlines when aid money is paid out to criminal clans and other fraudsters. The Minister of Economic Affairs underestimated how detailed and complicated it is to set up such a process – especially if you don’t have any staff to do it. And the finance minister’s account has been the multiple changes to the funding system, which is based first on operating costs, then on lost sales and now again on operating costs.

There are many reasons for this: A nationwide uniform application makes sense. The government can hardly be criticized for the particularly generous aid packages at the beginning of the second lockdown – at least not from the economic perspective. And it is undoubtedly a complicated undertaking to pay billions to hundreds of thousands of companies in a very short time. And nobody can currently reliably predict how the corona mutations will affect the infection process.

It is not about federal or party-political territorial gains, it is about getting the country and its economy through a crisis of the century. No blame helps, only seriousness and team play help. That is what one can expect from the elected representatives.

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by

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