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German BGA Exporters Say Merkel Coalition Preferable to SPD Rule

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Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Four more years of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition with the Free Democrats would do less damage to German businesses than a coalition of the Social Democrats and the Greens, the BGA exporters’ lobby said.

The BGA said a comparison of the election programs of the two blocs showed the biggest differences in tax policy, with the SPD and Greens aiming to raise as much as 45 billion euros ($60 billion) more in taxes and Merkel’s coalition seeking to ease the tax burden by as much as 9 billion euros.

The BGA says Germany’s competitiveness as an industrial nation is at stake in the Sept. 22 federal election and parties should keep in mind that the country’s all-inclusive social system must be supported by a strong economy.

With global competition intensifying, “do we want to go back to being the sick man of Europe and back into recession?” BGA president Anton Boerner said in a speech prepared for delivery at a press conference in Berlin today, according to an e-mailed statement.

Merkel’s announcement of plans to increase pensions for mothers of children born before 1992 is a “wasted opportunity” to leave workers with more money to spend now and places new financial burdens on public coffers, Boerner said.

The social policy proposals of the SPD and the Greens are characterized by “a costly expansion of the welfare state” where additional pension costs would grow to as much as 40 billion euros by 2030, Boerner said.

From the perspective of companies and potential investors, energy and infrastructure issues are as important business factors as taxes, duties and economic flexibility, the BGA said, noting “significant differences” can be found between the two camps in these important questions.

“Jobs, research and development all require capital input,” Boerner said. “But that means that we as businesses must be left an opportunity to earn enough money.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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