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German defense investment will double the country’s 2022 debt – POLITICO

Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Germany will incur debt of at least 200 billion euros this year, half of which will be due to a special fund to boost defense spending amid Russia’s involvement in the war against Ukraine. , Finance Minister Christian Lindner said.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Lindner said Germany’s debt could rise even further this year due to economic “uncertainties” caused by the war in Ukraine and the resulting rise in energy prices, as well as energy prices. The flow of Ukrainian refugees increased.

As a result, Lindner said he will soon introduce an additional budget to cover these potential additional costs, such as financial measures planned for residents to cope with price increases. energy and fuel.

The government has planned to repay 99.7 billion euros in regular debt this year, Lindner said. But the recent decision to pour 100 billion euros into Germany’s chronically equipped army, the Bundeswehr, doubled that figure.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz proposed a special fund worth 100 billion euros late last month as part of a historic shift in German defense and security policy. It was announced just days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

“We need planes that fly, ships that go out to sea and soldiers that are optimally equipped for their mission,” Scholz said at the time, vowing that in the future Germany would adhere to this goal. NATO’s goal is to spend 2% of annual economic output on defense.

Lindner’s presentation of Germany’s 2022 budget, which has been approved by the government but still needs support from lawmakers, also included the publication of a legislative proposal that would include defense funds in the constitution, ensure This money can only be used for military purposes. purpose.

The finance minister also said he aims to return to the debt limit set forth in Germany’s constitution by 2023 – which has been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic – and pledged that Germany would comply with the requirements. The EU’s Maastricht criterion is not to take on more than 60% of its GDP. in the second half of this decade.

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