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West Germany will help bail out AEG-Telefunken

The West German government agreed to underwrite $440 million of credits to help save AEG-Telefunken, the country's second-largest electrical manufacturer, from bankruptcy.

Economics Minister Otto Lambsdorff said the credit guarantee should stabilize the financially crippled firm, which called in a receiver early last month, and give it time to push through a rescue plan. Asked if the giant manufacturer might still go bust, Lambsdorff replied, ''That cannot be fully ruled out.'' A major reason for helping the company was the plight of thousands of small and medium-sized firms that depend on it contracts, the minister said.

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Also reported from Bonn Wednesday: West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt launched an unprecedented public attack on Economics Minister Otto Lambsdorff, casting serious doubt on the future of his coalition government. The chancellor was ''astonished'' by remarks Lambsdorff made in a newspaper interview.

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