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Schäfers, Manfred

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 12/09/2012

Germany thrifty with its cuts

Germany's parliament has been discussing the draft budget for 2013 since Tuesday. The opposition criticises the government for planning to take out almost 19 billion euros in new debts instead of using its considerable tax revenues to balance the budget. The conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung agrees: "Unfortunately the strategy of trying to grow your way out of debt by keeping expenditures fixed and hoping for ever greater revenues entails considerable risks, especially in times of crisis. … What happens if the interest rate goes up markedly, either because the situation in Europe improves, or because it gets worse? What risks do we run if Greece doesn't honour its commitments and Germany really does have to write off investments? If the Constitutional Court decides not to intervene, buying extra time in the euro crisis will entail additional major risks for German taxpayers, above and beyond the federal budget. So any other financial planning should be all the more circumspect. Unfortunately the coalition is being thrifty with its cuts."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 23/03/2010

German risk tax protects banks

As a means of protecting against a renewed crisis the German government plans to introduce a bank tax conforming to the amount of risk a given bank's business entails. But such a measure does not banish all risk, warns the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "The state must protect its banks to prevent even worse things from happening. What it takes from them here it must make available there. For others that needed no help the crisis opened wounds that are still far from healing. Taking money from them lowers their capacity for granting loans. In addition the idea that the tax will hit only banks and their shareholders is extremely naive. The tax will merely be integrated into pricing mechanisms. In case of doubt borrowers will pay higher interest rates, and investors will receive correspondingly less. That's acceptable if the money is used to build up a crisis buffer. When banks are easily combustible you've got to invest to extinguish their flames if need be."

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