Germany's Altmaier: Lufthansa bailout is in Europe's own interests

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier briefs the media about "rescue package" for German airline Lufthansa at the economy ministry in Berlin, Germany May 25, 2020. Markus Schreiber/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Wednesday he expected the European Commission to approve a 9-billion euro bailout of flagship carrier Lufthansa, adding that it was also in Europe’s interests to avoid a sell-off of such companies.

“We’re in negotiations in Brussels with the European Commission about the details of an approval,” Altmaier said. “And I want to add, with all emphasis and with all respect: It’s not only in Germany’s interests, but also in the European Union’s interests to avoid a sell-off of strategic interests in the industrial sector as a result of this pandemic.”

The German airline group said on Wednesday its supervisory board postponed approval of the bailout package in light of conditions imposed by the EU.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal