German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech at the lower house of parliament, Bundestag, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2020. (Photo: AP)
BERLIN, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The German government was currently not seeking to increase taxes to compensate for the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a questioning session by the parliament on Wednesday.
"As of today, no increases in charges and taxes are planned," Merkel said but added that this only reflected the current status and that she would not presume to be a predictor of the future.
Merkel was glad that the pandemic had hit Germany when the country is in a "good economic situation" and stressed that the German businesses and employees would receive state aid, liquidity assistance and the reduction of value-added tax for restaurants.
"The fact that people are on short-time work shows that we have economic consequences," said Merkel. However, companies using short-time work also meant that "we did not have to lay employees off to nowhere."
In Germany, employees in short-time work currently receive up to 80 percent of their original net salary and even up to 87 percent if employees have at least one child living in their household.
"We have succeeded in slowing down the spread of the virus in recent weeks and months," Merkel said but warned that she would see an "obligation not to jeopardize what we have achieved together."