Berlin        -          Germany will plough 130 billion euros into a stimulus package to kick-start an economy severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Under the wide-ranging measures outlined in a 15-page document, value-added tax will be temporarily slashed, families will receive 300 euros for each child, while those who purchase electric cars will see a government rebate doubled to 6,000 euros.

“The size of the package will reach 130 billion euros for 2020 to 2021, 120 billion of which will be borne by the federal government,” said Merkel.

Noting that millions of employees in Germany have been put on shorter working hours, Merkel said that “shows how fragile the whole thing is, and why we must succeed in giving the economy a push so that jobs can be secured.”

The fresh stimulus comes on top of a massive 1.1 trillion euro rescue package already agreed in March, comprising loan guarantees, subsidies and a beefed-up shorter-hours programme to avoid job cuts.