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Steps to help German economy

BERLIN, November 3 – Measures to be rolled out on Wednesday to help Germany weather the global economic crisis will create or guarantee nearly one million jobs, Economy Minister Michael Glos was quoted as saying.

"With this catalogue of measures that we will adopt this week in cabinet, we are for certain going to be able to mobilise more than 30 billion euros in extra investment," Glos told Sunday\’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"In addition, nearly one million jobs will be guaranteed or created," he added.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who presides over Europe\’s biggest economy, has promised "targeted" and "courageous" steps in the face of the most serious economic downturn in years.

In a video message on her website, Merkel on Saturday called on German banks struggling to cope with the fallout from the global financial crisis to take advantage of a state rescue package.

Economic think tanks in Germany doubt the government\’s initiatives will have much impact. They include the German Institute for Economic Research, which regards the effort as an attempt to sway public opinion.

ZDF television reported that Merkel is to meet business and labour representatives on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting to promote her economic support programme.

Measures expected include lower taxes for greener automobiles, help to renovate houses that use too much energy, and tax incentives to encourage business to invest more.

Small business would meanwhile be eligible for state loan guarantees.

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An Emnid opinion poll in Bild am Sonntag suggested that 70 percent of Germans feel that such measures would prove futile in holding back an economic downturn — and that 25 percent thought otherwise.

The German government has already adopted measures to help the banking sector that includes loan guarantees worth 400 billion euros plus capital infusions totalling 80 billion euros.

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