May 15, 2020 / 1:22 PM / 22 days ago

German finance minister calls for fund to restart Europe's economy

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz addresses the media during a news conference in Berlin, Germany May 14, 2020. Michael Sohn/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - A pan-European fund is needed to restart Europe’s economy after the lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday ahead of a video conference with his fellow euro zone finance ministers.

Hailing record sums disbursed by Europe’s governments to protect the economy during the lockdown, he said attention was now turning to ways of getting it going again once the crisis had passed.

“The means of the fund should be timely, implementable and targeted to groups and sectors that are most severely hit by the crisis,” he said.

“At the same time we need to ensure that the growth potential and competitiveness of our economies are strengthened: there should be a strong focus on green investment and digitalisation,” he added.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin

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