By Bojan Pancevski and William Boston
BERLIN — Germany adopted its second economic-stimulus package since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing their total cost to €1.3 trillion ($1.5 trillion), by far the largest in Europe as a share of gross domestic product.
The new bundle, agreed to on Wednesday after extensive talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their junior coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats, included measures worth €130 billion for 2020 and 2021.
The package comes on top of €353.3 billion in direct payments and €819.7 billion in guarantees adopted shortly after Germany locked down its economy in response to the pandemic.
Years of budget surpluses and negative borrowing costs have allowed Germany to rapidly deploy a vast protective shield to cushion the impact of the pandemic. Some economists have raised concerns about a lopsided recovery in the European Union, where many countries have been unable to mobilize funds on the same scale.
The latest measures marked a milestone in the fight against the economic impact of the pandemic, Merkel said late on Wednesday. “We are trying to get out of this very difficult situation together,” she added, referring to the breadth of the package that includes support for large and small companies, employees and families.