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German economy can get through long virus lockdown - finance minister

News conference following talks with state leaders at the Chancellery in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe's biggest economy can hold out through a coronavirus shutdown for a long time, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, adding he expected lower levels of government debt than after the financial crisis of 2008.

"We can hold out for a long time," Scholz told ZDF television. "Budget legislators in the German parliament have authorised us to provide the aid that is needed," he said.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Thomas Seythal)