EU clears German crisis plan for export-credit insurance

By Reuters Staff
August 5, 2009

BRUSSELS, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The European Commission approved on Wednesday a short-term export-credit insurance scheme adopted by the German government to limit the impact of the financial crisis on export companies.

“The scheme would provide short-term export-credit insurance to companies in Germany and tackles the problem of the current unavailability of the short-term export credit insurance cover in the private market,” the EU executive said in a statement.

“The German short-term export credit insurance scheme allows supporting exporters in areas where the market is temporarily not functioning properly,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said.

The German state export credit insurance scheme would be managed by a consortium that includes PricewaterhouseCoopers and exporters would retain have a considerable proportion of the risk to benefit from the insurance, the Commission said.

German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg welcomed the decision, saying it would bring urgently needed relief especially to small- and medium-sized firms struggling to insure exports to certain countries.

“For each application, we will continue to verify that foreign customers meet the usual credit worthiness criteria,” he said in a statement. (Reporting by Bate Felix, Brian Rohan, editing by Jeremy Smith/Ron Askew)

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