Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has rejected calls for higher debts in the coalition’s internal budget dispute.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has rejected calls for higher debts in the coalition’s internal budget dispute. The government had successfully led Germany through two major crises with hundreds of billions of euros, he told the “Handelsblatt” (Friday edition) with a view to the corona pandemic and the Ukraine war. “It won’t go on like this forever.”
The challenge now is to “set up households that can get by without using the exception rule from the Basic Law,” said Scholz. He sees savings potential “in many places” in the federal budget.
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) announced last week that the cabinet decision on the budget key points for 2024 and the financial plan up to 2027 would be postponed. The background is the dispute in the traffic light government over the priorities of the budget and additional demands from the various departments of up to 70 billion euros.
The Chancellor assured that the postponement of the cabinet decision was not a big deal for him. “After years in which we (…) used large amounts of money to weather crises, it is hardly surprising that many are now making the transition to getting by with less money and that there is a need for discussion.”
Scholz was reluctant to comment in the “Handelsblatt” on the plans of Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) for far-reaching restrictions on the installation of gas and oil heating systems. At the moment it is only about “considerations that have not even been decided,” emphasized the Chancellor. The aim of the traffic light is “a realistic regulation that does not overwhelm anyone and at the same time points the way towards climate neutrality”.
Despite the recent disagreements, Scholz cannot see any fundamental problems in the cooperation between the three traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP. “It was foreseeable that it would be challenging for all three coalition partners at different times,” he said. “It is important that you work together in order to be successful together.” He has the impression that this is happening.