The calls for an economic stimulus package for the time after the acute phase of the corona crisis are increasing. You are justified – there is a very central question behind it.

Stuttering global engine: large purchases such as cars are likely to be made up for later.  Cars stand in line in Bremerhaven to be loaded onto ships.

Und after that? What does the world look like after the corona pandemic? Of course, all the answers to these questions at the moment are inevitably highly speculative. Too much is still uncertain: will the worst be over in a few weeks or will it take many more months? When will there be a vaccine against the novel virus that is sufficiently available for the general public? And what constitution and what relationship will the countries be in when the pandemic is really over? Nobody can give a reliable answer yet.

Nevertheless, in the end everyone has exactly this question in the back of their minds in one way or another who is now thinking publicly about preparing relief measures for the time after the acute phase of the crisis. “The many billions that have to be invested today to avert a major catastrophe will bind generations,” says EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

She recommends a new Marshall Plan for Europe, a reference to the American reconstruction aid after the Second World War, which laid the foundation for the stable and especially important integration of the Federal Republic in the West. “Either we are up to the circumstances or we fail as a union,” writes the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in a guest post for FAZ.NET. Von der Leyen and Sánchez suspect that this crisis will also put the continent’s cohesion to the test.

Markus Söder at the automotive supplier Zettl, who switched his company to the production of protective masks in view of the Corona crisis.
Markus Söder at the automotive supplier Zettl, who switched his company to the production of protective masks in view of the Corona crisis.: Image: dpa

The Bavarian Prime Minister and CSU Chairman Markus Söder, in turn, is now calling for an extensive economic stimulus program in Germany. On the one hand, this includes broad tax cuts. On the other hand, he brings targeted help for the German automotive industry into the discussion, “this time not with a scrapping, but with an innovation bonus”. The German state should make environmentally friendly cars much more attractive for customers. “This is how we secure jobs, protect the climate and improve the competitiveness of our automotive industry,” he explains – and then comes the crucial point: “After Corona, this can even catapult us forward.”

Söder knows – unlike the SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken, who speaks of a property levy at a time when German medium-sized and small businesses in particular have to use their reserves to ensure their own survival – that entire world markets may be as a result of the pandemic be remeasured. Why are technology companies like the online retailer Amazon hiring tens of thousands of new employees right now?

Globalization is changing

Yes, many businesses are currently idle, companies have put investments on hold, and private individuals have not bought a new car or living room. But at some point they want to and will do so, regardless of whether they have got used to only ordering online or not. You have an advantage if you can then deliver quickly and make a wide range – faster than others. Speed ​​counts, government start-up aid can increase it, because then it is actually easier for the corporations to use their capacities again and to ramp up production.