By Arturo Gallegos – The economic rescue package approved by the German federal government is made up of around 675 billion euros, of which 600 billion will be used to support large corporations and capitalist companies, 50 billion for small companies, producers and professionals; and finally only 7.5 billion euros will be invested in the area of social security. This last section includes the highly sensitive topic of unemployment money, medical treatment and the so-called Hartz IV social assistance program. In preparing this economic package, it should be noted that the federal government has acquired a debt of 156 billion euros.
Angela Merkel’s government has shown a predilection for protecting large companies at critical moments. At the end of May it was announced that the German airline Lufthansa will receive a state aid of 9 billion euros under very advantageous conditions, a company that by the way was completely privatized since 1997. The large real estate companies have also been protected by not having decreed the cancellation of housing rent payment, but in the best of cases the payment terms have been prolonged. Likewise, in the fiscal matter, the consumer tax rates have only been reduced a little and the terms to pay the annual contributions of natural persons have been extended.
Other measures show the populist side of the grand coalition between Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) ahead of the upcoming federal elections in 2021. The aid of 300 euros (one-time payment) that the government has agreed for the parents of each child born in these times of crisis is not only laughable, but excludes those who do not meet this “requirement” (sic). On the other hand, the reduction of the turnover tax from 16% to 5% (or Umsatzsteuer in German) for medium-sized companies is clearly a nod to the wealthy German middle class to support the re-election of a new large coalition at the time Merkel leaves her leadership in 2021.
However, there is no talk of increased tax collection for German billionaires who continue to benefit from an income “cap” in the German tax scheme, as the German Communist Party (DKP) has been demanding. This cap has left most of its immense profits tax-free and not only that, but, as is evident, the government of the grand coalition is ready at all times to come to its rescue whenever its transnational companies see themselves in trouble, either due to external circumstances such as the present, or as a result of their mismanagement and or corruption typical of the bourgeois class to which they belong.
Ultimately, public resources, coming from ordinary citizens through the payment of their taxes, continue to be transferred to private hands in the form of these “aid packages”. This with the pretext of keeping alive the much venerated “sources of employment”. In other words and in simple language, the government rescues the capitalists so that the people can continue to have the “privilege” of continuing to work for them, that is, of continuing to be exploited. Crumbs for the working class, slices for the capitalists. And although these crumbs are bigger than the ones obtained by workers in underdeveloped countries, they are still just that, crumbs.