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ECONOMY

Businesses warned of second wave for financial crisis

German businesses should expect a second wave of the financial crisis soon despite signs of a fragile recovery in the economy, according to an industry association.

Businesses warned of second wave for financial crisis
Photo: DPA

“We will get the second wave of the financial crisis next year,” Mario Ohoven, president of the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW), told news agency DDP on Tuesday. “The signs are unmistakable.”

Ohoven also accused certain speculators of not having learned anything from the financial crisis, pointing to the latest speculations with derivatives on the commodity markets. “This is the new bubble to follow the real estate hype,” he said.

But Ohoven saw better prospects in the eurozone countries. “There is €550 billion in toxic assets, of which only a maximum of 60 percent have depreciated,” he said. The rest, he believes, is still lying in bank vaults.

But according to a new assessment published Tuesday by news magazine Der Spiegel, most economic prognoses for the year 2010 have been unnecessarily bleak. According to the magazine, Germany’s reliance on export trade means that while it was disproportionately affected by the global downturn, just as any partial recovery will be disproportionately beneficial to Germany.

The magazine also pointed out that many global indicators suggested that trade around the world is likely to pick up in the New Year.

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MONEY

Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Italy's government will extend its proposed one-time €200 benefit to more people and introduce a €60 public transport payment, Italian media reported on Thursday.

Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Seasonal workers, domestic and cleaning staff, the self-employed, the unemployed and those on Italy’s ‘citizens’ income’ will be added to the categories of people in Italy eligible for a one-off €200 payment, ministers reportedly announced on Thursday evening.

The one-time bonus, announced earlier this week as part of a package of financial measures designed to offset the rising cost of living, was initially set to be for pensioners and workers on an income of less than €35,000 only.

However the government has now agreed to extend the payment to the additional groups following pressure from Italy’s labour, families, and regional affairs ministers and representatives of the Five Star Movement, according to news agency Ansa.

Pensioners and employees will reportedly receive the €200 benefit between June and July via a direct payment into their pension slip or pay packet.

For other groups, a special fund will be created at the Labour Ministry and the procedures for claiming and distributing payments detailed in an incoming decree, according to the Corriere della Sera news daily.

One new measure introduced at the cabinet meeting on Thursday is the introduction of a one-time €60 public transport bonus for students and workers earning below €35,000. The bonus is reportedly designed to encourage greater use of public transport and will take the form of an e-voucher that can be used when purchasing a bus, train or metro season pass.

Other provisions reportedly proposed in the energy and investment decree (decreto energia e investimenti), which is still being adjusted and amended, include extending energy bill discounts, cutting petrol excise duty and rolling on the deadline to claim Italy’s popular ‘superbonus 110’.

The €14 billion aid package, intended to lessen the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, will “fight the higher cost of living” and is “a temporary situation”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said.

The Local will report further details of the payment scheme once they become available following final approval of the decree.

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