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GERMANY

Germany opens credit pipeline to Spanish firms

Germany and Spain signed an agreement on Thursday to boost access to affordable credit for small and medium enterprises in the recession-hit southern European country.

Germany opens credit pipeline to Spanish firms
"We want to ease financing for companies with solid business models and good growth prospects," said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

In a bid to foster growth and create jobs, Germany's KfW public-sector bank will loan some €800 million (about $1.0 billion) to Spain's Institute of Official Credit (ICO), which would then lend the money to businesses, the German finance ministry said.

"We want to ease financing for companies with solid business models and good growth prospects," said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

"They should be able to expand staffing and especially to create jobs and apprenticeships for young people," he said as both countries signed the agreement first announced in April.

Germany has repeatedly mentioned the programme as part of efforts to battle massive youth unemployment, which has left almost six million under 25-year-olds jobless in the European Union.

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GERMANY

Fireworks promised for Spain–Germany friendly

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has demanded his players put on a show as his rejuvenated side prepare to welcome Germany, the team that succeeded them as world champions, in Vigo on Tuesday.

Fireworks promised for Spain–Germany friendly
Spanish manager Vicente Del Bosque has injected plenty of new blood into his side, the reigning European champions. Photo: AFP

"When you get this kind of match there's almost no difference whether the game is an official one or like in this case a friendly," said Del Bosque, whose side go into the game on a high having rediscovered their form.

"We want to play well, to put on a show," he said.

"They (Germany) want to remain at the highest level, and we want to keep up our post World Cup momentum," said Del Bosque, after Saturday's 3-0 European qualifier win against Belarus.

Germany coach Joachim Loew looked to be taking the game less seriously than Del Bosque.

"We're delighted to be taking on a team of such a high technical level. It's the perfect test for us," Loew said in Vigo, where the teams are due to play.

"But if we lose I won't consider it a defeat that would compromise our chances for next year (of winning Euro 2016). It's not so important," said Loew.

The World Cup winning coach also suggested he would give a run out to fringe strikers Kevin Volland of Hoffenheim and Stuttgart's Antonio Ruediger.

Loew has recently complained that Germany is suffering a post World Cup hangover, and that a fresh start is needed in the New Year.

"After this match, we need a good break and a long holiday so everyone can recharge our batteries," he said.

Spain captain 'keeper Iker Casillas said the teams needed to live up to their reputations.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) the last two World Cup winners go head-to-head so you really can't get a more attractive game than that," explained the Real Madrid stopper.

Spain romped to the 2010 World title in South Africa but fell to a dramatic first-round elimination at the 2014 edition in Brazil, won so impressively by Germany.

Del Bosque has injected plenty of new blood into his side, the reigning European champions, with players such as Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Juventus striker Alvaro Moratta or winger Jose Callejon.

"Against the Germans, we'll be giving a run out to everyone we can," said Del Bosque.

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