6 Aug 2012

State to guarantee loan for Nurburgring racetrack

10:01 am on 6 August 2012

Lawmakers in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in western German agreed on Wednesday to guarantee a loan that will allow the Nurburgring racetrack to continue operating.

The circuit's troubles began with a decision to build an amusement park.

The decision to release 254 million euros ($US312 million) was made at a special meeting of the state legislature's budget and finance committee.

Deutsche Welle Radio reports Social Democrats and the Greens used their majority to push the move through, despite the objections of opposition Christian Democrats.

The funding is to guarantee a loan for the circuit, which has hosted the German Grand Prix many times.

This will allow the company that operates the track, Nürburgring GmbH, to service a bank loan of 330 million euros and continue operating.

CDU members had wanted to delay the decision because of concerns that extending the credit could be illegal under European competition laws.

In the legislature, Premier Kurt Beck conceded that "errors have been committed" in the course of an ill-fated decision to build an amusement park at the track, which is 90% owned by the state.

He also said he wanted to apologize to the people of the state, in particular those of the Eifel region where the track is located.