POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Gov to hit capital markets soon: Gramegna



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Pierre Gramegna, the finance minister, said the government will decide “in the coming days” how much fresh debt to issue, as it ramps up public spending to keep Luxembourg’s economy afloat. Library picture: Pierre Gramegna speaks at a press conference, 25 March 2020. Photo credit: SIP/Julien Warnand 

Luxembourg could borrow €3bn this year to finance the government’s €8.8bn economic stimulus package, Pierre Gramegna, the DP finance minister, told RTL in an interview.

He said it would be “no stress” to raise the debt, given Luxembourg’s AAA credit rating and currently low debt level (20% of GDP). If any country has flexibility to issue bonds, he said, it is Luxembourg, but the bill will be “dear”.

Gramegna said the government had not yet calculated the full impact of announced tax extensions and tax holidays on the public budget.

Initial projections showed Luxembourg’s economy could contract by between -2.5% and -3% due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“General solidarity” would be needed to recover from the crisis quickly, Gramenga stated. He indicated, for example, that this year’s “collective leave” (when the construction sector shuts down for the month of August) would be suspended.

Gramegna’s interview on RTL’s “Background am Gespréich” aired on Saturday.