The UK sale and leasebackmodel has been identified as an incentive to emulate by Germany's FreeDemocrats (FDP) who could become the junior partner in a new administrationunder the CDU/CSU's Angela Merkel after September's general election.

Launching itselection manifesto, the FDP stated that there was a need for "innovativemodels which, alongside state funding instruments, can offer in particularprivate investors incentives for investment in the film industry and in Germanyas a film location (e.g. 'sale and leaseback')."

The FDP's commitment to incentives for the German filmindustry is in stark contrast to the CDU/SCU parties' vaguer manifesto promise"to improve the general parameters for the German film industry in orderto secure its international competitiveness."

At an industrygathering earlier this month, leading CSU politician Erwin Huber, Bavaria'sMinister of State, rejected any plans for incentives linked to a "Germanspend" as an alternative to the tax-relief media funds. However, the CDU'sfilm policy expert Bernd Neumann has supported the idea of "fiscalparameters which are comparable with elsewhere in Europe" in order toattract private capital into the German film industry.

In addition,Neumann has indicated in public that in a Merkel administration he would workfor the abolition of the controversial Media Decree "which has in effectprevented co-productions with foreign partners. We must change this, we willchange this and we want to change this."

Meanwhile,Christina Weiss, the incumbent State Minister for Culture and Media, reviewedher achievements under the Schroeder administration this week and pointed outthat the creation of a Euros 90m venture capital fund as a replacement for theprivate media funds would enable German film producers to become "moreefficient and competitive. The German film industry and the many jobs in thisfield need this."