March 17, 2009 / 5:30 PM / 10 years ago

Governments could ringfence public aid -Guttenberg

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said on Tuesday it might be possible to ringfence public aid to stop taxpayers money leaking abroad, but care must be taken to avoid protectionism.

Would “mutual ringfencing be useful yes or no? I think we certainly should discuss it, but we have to be very careful not to outbalance ourselves on protectionism,” he said.

Guttenberg was responding to a question about U.S. support for American International Group (AIG.N), which has helped German banks, and German aid for GM’s German-based unit Opel.

He was speaking at a lunch hosted by the Peterson Institute during a visit that will include a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner later on Tuesday. (Editing by Leslie Adler)

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