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UPDATE 1-Germany's steel makers call for billions in state aid -Der Spiegel

(Adds sources, Economy Ministry)

BERLIN, April 23 (Reuters) - German steel makers want binding commitments from the government regarding financial support for the industry’s shift towards a more climate-friendly manufacturing, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

Europe’s steelmakers are under pressure to cut carbon emissions while maintaining profitability in a market where there is fierce competition, mainly from China, while pollution permit costs are spiralling higher.

The heads of Germany’s major steel manufacturers, including Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter, called for assurances that the state will help finance the transformation with a sum that could total up to a double-digit billion euros amount, Der Spiegel said.

They plan to discuss the issue with Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on May 3, sources familiar with the discussions said, confirming the Spiegel report. The Economy Ministry said it was not in a position to comment. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Kirsti Knolle and David Evans)

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