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Monopolies Commission wants to abolish Germany Fund

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BERLIN. The chances of dough to come to the state, are not bad: For applications for loans from the Economic Fund Germany have a cancellation four and a half promises. Has helped thousands of companies, the state this year while coming in difficult times for fresh money.

But often, the joy lasted only briefly. Even the state can not save what can not be saved. The Economic Fund of Germany is therefore under scrutiny, critics are calling for his removal. "In many cases, taxpayers’ money was literally thrown out the window. The tools often carry only help to perpetuate problems, "said Justus Haucap, Chairman of the Monopolies Commission, the Handelsblatt. The Monopolies Commission advises the government on issues of competition policy. "Federal Minister Rainer Brüderle should have the courage to close the Germany Fund. He might declare with a lead of several months between the end of the Fund to the middle of next year. "

It was all meant well. Three-digit billions for the banking industry – and the real economy can go empty-handed, the state? The outgoing government did not want this charge can sit up. Earlier this year she had, therefore, the 100 billion euro fund launched heavy. It includes a guarantee program from 75 billion euros a lending of 25 billion euros. With the KfW loan of 15 billion euros, which had decided the federal government with the first stimulus package the end of 2008, add up the resources of the fund to 115 billion euros. Almost 9 000 companies have benefited, according to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs until December 2009 loans and guarantees. 9.25 billion euros has been pledged applicants.

Again and again the granting of loans and guarantees triggers fierce debate. Should the state help an ailing mail order? Opel was not even before the financial crisis in trouble? The statutes of the fund, according to the case is quite clear: there is only support for companies that only through the financial and economic crisis have run into difficulties. And they must have clear prospects for the future.

In fact, applicants often do not meet the criteria. There’s still money, for helping to politics. Justus Haucap gives examples of decisions over which one can argue very well: "The money for the rescue of yards, in my view a bad investment. We have known for years that this industry is in a deep structural change. Evidence that the yards do not even put before the financial crisis in large problems can be difficult to provide. "The same applies to Haucaps view for printing press manufacturers, who benefit from the Germany Fund. "I have the impression that interprets the policy, the criteria for the granting of funds rather generously."

The policy directs the lending

Important decisions on the granting of aid by the Steering Committee meets corporate finance. He is turned on whenever it comes to loans of more than 150 million euro and guarantees of more than 300 million euros. The Steering Committee is composed of senior officials of the Ministries of Economy, Finance and Justice and a representative of the Chancellery. The Panel decides, exhaustive, it is a Policy Board to the side. Its speaker is the Wettbewerbsrechtler Martin Hellwig. In addition, the advisory committee include, among other Ex-Schering CEO Hubertus Erlen, former BDI Chief Michael Rogowski, and the former Minister of Economic Affairs Alfred Tacke.

"It is impossible not to suspect that the decisions of the Steering Committee are influenced by political considerations. This was particularly clearly visible before the election, "says Haucap. He is sure that some help would not have been granted, would have been decided in purely economic terms.

The criticism Wettbewerbsrechtler that those decisions are not transparent enough: "The Policy Board meets behind closed doors. We do not know what recommendations he gives to the Steering Committee, which falls ultimately the decisions. It is not known as to the impact of the Council on the Committee. The procedure should be designed much more open. "The industry associations have often criticized the Germany fund, because the funds would be granted too slowly. Haucap provides for the bureaucratic barriers but not as a misfortune, on the contrary: "This has arisen inadvertently less damage than was feared at first."