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Germany would like to localize supply chains, nationalization possible, minister says

FILE PHOTO: German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier attends a news conference after a meeting with the economy ministers from Germany's 16 states to discuss the economic impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Berlin, Germany March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said he wanted to support pharmaceuticals companies that are dependent for key reagents on imports from Asia to rebuild their production sites in Europe, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.

He also said that nationalization could be one option for supporting strategically important companies brought into difficulties by the coronavirus epidemic, which is causing demand to collapse and severing global supply chains.

“Minimizing one-sided dependencies in order to win back national sovereignty in sensitive areas is the right idea,” he told the magazine. “I can well imagine a common European project for medicine production.”

He added that he did not expect to see a large number of nationalizations resulting from the epidemic.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Thomas Seythal