Corona aid: Bouffier defends state aid for Lufthansa

Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) has defended the possible billions in state aid for Lufthansa and warned against the takeover of the airline by foreign competitors. “It is right that we have to help Lufthansa. It must stay in Germany,” said Bouffier of the “Rheinische Post” (Friday). “We have to be careful that nobody secretly buys the Lufthansa shares and then puts pressure on the group. Competitors come from China, the United States and the Gulf States.”

Germany needs an airline that is competitive on a global scale – with good economic structures and social obligations, Bouffier said. However, the group could not expect the state to give the money and not have a securing influence on fundamental questions such as bonuses. Politicians should stay out of business decisions. In his opinion, a state-rescued company should forego dividends “at least for a certain time”.

Lufthansa has come under great pressure due to the consequences of the corona pandemic and is currently negotiating with the federal government for state aid amounting to nine billion euros. In return, a state participation of around 25 percent and supervisory board mandates are under discussion. Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr had warned against excessive government influence on the group.

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