Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) has defended the potential billions in state aid for Lufthansa and warned against a takeover of the airline by foreign competitors. “It is right that we must help Lufthansa. She has to stay in Germany,” Bouffier told the Rheinische Post (Friday). “We have to be careful that no one secretly buys up Lufthansa shares and then puts pressure on the group. Competitors come from China, the US and the Gulf states.”
Germany needs a global airline – with good economic structures and social obligations, Bouffier said. However, the group could not expect the state to give the money and not have a secure influence on fundamental issues such as bonuses. But policymakers should stay out of business decisions. In his view, a state-saved company should forgo dividends for shareholders “at least for a certain period of time”.
Lufthansa has come under severe pressure because of the consequences of the Corona pandemic and is currently negotiating with the federal government for state aid amounting to nine billion euros. In return, a state shareholding of around 25 percent as well as supervisory board mandates are under discussion. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr had warned that too much state influence on the group was being exerted.