Union parties welcome agreement to support Lufthansa

by Thorsten Koch

The CDU-CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag has approved the Federal Government’s strategy to rescue the Lufthansa airline. The two seats on the supervisory board to which the federal government is entitled would have to be filled in such a way that the owners did not pursue a political agenda and only had an eye on Lufthansa’s economic well-being. The goal must be for the state to get out of the car as quickly as possible and for the airline to stand on its own two feet, a speaker of the Union parliamentary group said.

The Lufthansa and Federal Government concept includes a direct stake of over 20 percent by the state and an additional convertible bond of five percent plus one share. The voting rights on the Supervisory Board should only be used to protect the airline from hostile takeovers. The SPD had pursued the goal of a direct participation amounting to 25 percent. This was rejected. A compromise was adopted instead.

The FDP warned of the strategy attaining model character. This “form of a chain of interventions must be interrupted,” said FDP parliamentary group member Michael Theurer. The Greens criticized the deal as bad for the taxpayers since the Federal Government will give Lufthansa 9 billion Euros, but will only receive 20 percent in a company that, according to the Greens, was currently less valuable on the stock exchange.

The CSU called for the federal government to exit Lufthansa quickly if the crisis did not continue – as a signal for the free economy. But the agreement itself was positive, the CSU added: Lufthansa was given the chance to “start out anew, dynamically”.

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