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Kuntz, Michael

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 03/11/2008

Necessary subsidies

The daily Süddeutsche Zeitung argues in favour of comprehensive subsidies for the ailing auto industry. "Hardly any other industry is as globalised as the car industry. ... Now we are facing a financial crisis, and companies that compete internationally are receiving state subsidies. This is the strategy that has been decided in America and the same will no doubt be done here in Europe and Germany. We have been taught that subsidies are a bad thing because they disrupt the free play between supply and demand. ... Admittedly, this free market exists only in theory. The Japanese are taking brutal measures to protect their car business. And it is not only in Eastern Europe that governments provide huge incentives for companies wanting to open new plants there. In Germany, too, the state gives a helping hand, albeit a little more discreetly: here government money is invested in research and development. ... The goal must be for all companies to get the same aid - immediately, for a fixed period of time and, if possible, worldwide."

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