Germany's government approves second coronavirus extra budget

Chancellor Angela Merkel with Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday passed a second supplementary budget of €62.5 bn, news wires reported. The move takes the government's total planned debt for 2020 to a record €218.5bn, and comes on top of an initial €156bn supplementary budget passed at the end of March.

"We can afford this fiscal act of strength because we reduced debt in good times and now have solid public finances," Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement.

The 2020 debt burden is five times as high as in 2010, the worst year of the previous financial crisis. The move still requires approval from Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.

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