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German virus aid for firms to amount to 4.5 billion euros a week in December

FILE PHOTO: German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and Philipp Steinberg from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) hold a joint news conference to present the government's economic autumn projection, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is to expand coronavirus aid for companies and help will amount to 4.5 billion euros a week in December, the economy and finance ministries said in a joint statement on Friday.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the pandemic would affect the country and the economy for some time to come.

“Cohesion and solidarity are hence the imperative of the hour,” he said in a statement. “We will not leave our companies and their employees alone at this difficult time.”

Reporting by Paul Carrel; editing by Thomas Seythal