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Business

German investment gap threatens prosperity

Experts have warned that the nation's economic welfare could be at risk unless Berlin dramatically dials up investments. Especially the country's infrastructure was being given short shrift, according to their findings.

Germany needs to invest a lot more in the years ahead in order to maintain its position as an economic powerhouse, the president of the Berlin-based Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, said on Monday.

Presenting a new study, commissioned by the German Economy Ministry, Fratzscher noted that the country was in need of between 90-100 billion euros ($95-106 billion) in annual investments, including 10 billion euros alone for traffic infrastructure projects.

"Not doing so would jeopardize our well-being and prosperity," he told the popular daily "Bild."

No time to waste

Fratzscher called on both the state and private businesses to provide more resources to modernize bridges, roads and schools.

Watch video 02:24

Combating traffic chaos in Germany

He said investment in education had also been given short shrift. "We spend about 1 percent of gross domestic product [roughly 25 billion euros] less on education than neighboring countries, and that's a pathetic performance."

Reuters reported that the government had in principle agreed to use any unexpected budgetary windfalls primarily for public investment programs, with the emphasis being on infrastructure schemes.

hg/pad (AFP, dpa)

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