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Business

Telekom, Post Targeted for Budget Funds

The German government is considering tapping Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post for billions of euros to help rein its budget deficit next year, the Financial Times and its sister newspaper Financial Times Deutschland reported on Tuesday. Under a deal yet to be approved, the state would pocket windfall gains from the partially privatized companies in exchange for assuming part of their pension liabilities, the newspapers said without revealing their sources. The plan was one of several measures being studied by the finance ministry to make sure that the German public deficit falls back below 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as required by the European Stability and Growth Pact. The German deficit ratio exceeded the 3.0 limit in both 2002 and 2003 as it set to do so again this year. Finance Minister Hans Eichel had asked ministry officials for proposals about how to prevent the 2005 budget breaching the EU's fiscal rules for the fourth year in a row without damaging the fragile economic recovery in Germany, the reports said.

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