22 Feb 2009

Second stimulus package approved by Germany

5:58 am on 22 February 2009

Germany has approved a stimulus plan worth 50 billion euro ($US63 billion) aimed at boosting Europe's largest economy.

The plan was approved by the upper house of parliament, which represents Germany's 16 state governments.

It includes infrastructure investments, tax relief, reductions in health care contributions and money for families with children.

The package follows an earlier 23 billion euro plan that was criticised for being too cautious.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany would emerge from the crisis stronger than when it entered it.

The BBC reports the plan also provides bonues of 2500 euros to people who give up old cars to buy new vehicles.

Germany's economy went into recession last year as the global downturn hit demand for exports. It is expected to contract more than 2% this year, its worst performance since World War II.