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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - On a gloomy Friday in March, with the blatant destruction caused by the coronavirus, authorities of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government understood the need for extraordinary measures to sustain Europe's largest economy.

At breakneck speed, advisors to the Ministry of the Economy drew up a rescue program worth €600 billion (R$3.6 trillion) to prevent its collapse.

With the increase in coronavirus cases and strict restrictions on people and companies, there was little time for debate and no significant opposition. However, behind the nervous management of the crisis, there was a deeper strategy . . .

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