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Dec. 7, 2008, 1:07 p.m. EST

German Chancellor Merkel to call national economic summit

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(Updates with more statements from politicians, industry associations and representatives.)

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--German Chancellor Angela Merkel has scheduled a meeting of high-ranking experts in the Berlin chancellory Dec. 14 after politicians and economists asked the government to step up efforts to combat the current economic downturn.

"For a targeted response to the coming economic development, we need a comprehensive and careful analysis of the situation," Merkel tells German daily Bild-Zeitung in an advance of Monday's paper.

The meeting will be attended by Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Economy Minister Michael Glos, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck and Labor Minister Olaf Scholz, and representatives from private banks, state-owned Landesbanken, savings banks and some selected economists.

Merkel says no new stimulus programs will be decided at the meeting. "I still want to keep all options open. But I'm against speculating publicly every day about other options."

As the financial crisis deepens, Merkel is under increasing pressure from her own coalition to do more to help Germany's economy.

Earlier Sunday, Economy Minister Glos issued an urgent call for quick tax cuts to battle a deepening recession in Europe's biggest economy, defying Merkel, who had vowed not to enact tax cuts now.

"A tax cut for average earners ahead of the election would send the right message," Glos told Bild am Sonntag Sunday paper.

Separately, German weekly Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck is supposedly against another stimulus program before Easter.

According to the magazine, Steinbrueck told his colleagues at the meeting of European Union finance ministers last week Germany will look very closely at economic developments before deciding on further stimulus measures.

Also over the weekend, weekly magazine Focus reported Germany's chairman of the Social Democrats, Franz Muentefering, also doesn't exclude a second stimulus program for the German economy, albeit after having observed the effectiveness of the current measures.

"We have to concentrate and have to prepare for being able to react quickly and goal-oriented," Muentefering told the magazine.

"In the spring, people will rightly say:'stop scratching your heads and make sure something good is done," Muentefering told Focus.

Germany's Social Democrats and Merkel's Christian Democrats are in an uneasy grand coalition, with rifts about how to combat the crisis running deep within the individual parties.

The grand coalition Friday passed a EUR31 billion fiscal stimulus program some economists say won't suffice to fight off the economic problems.

Over the weekend, industry voices also raised concerns about whether the package is enough.

The head of the Federation of German Industry, Juergen Thurman, renewed his association's call for quick tax cuts.

Executives from eight major German companies, including Volkswagen AG (VOW.XE), Adidas AG (ADS.XE) and BASF SE (BAS.XE) are quoted in the upcoming weekly of Der Spiegel magazine saying the government hasn't done enough to prevent the economic slowdown from happening.

"We are facing a situation that is absolutely extraordinary - and we cannot emerge from it with the traditional political and economic approaches," Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said.

Web sites: www.bild.de; www.focus.de; www.spiegel.de

-By Klaus Brune, Dow Jones Newswires; +49 69 29 725 500; klaus.brune@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 07, 2008 11:20 ET (16:20 GMT)

-Contact: 201-938-5400

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