100 billion for the Bundeswehr: Delay in the special fund

Status: 05/17/2022 1:54 p.m

The traffic light coalition has not yet succeeded in getting the Union on board with the planned €100 billion special fund for the Bundeswehr. The Greens are pushing for an agreement. The left is happy about the delay.

Due to ongoing negotiations between the traffic light coalition and the Union, the Bundestag will no longer deal with the planned special fund for the Bundeswehr this week.

The Union insists that the government increase its defense budget in the coming years. “The turning point announced by the chancellor must be traced in the development of the budget,” said the parliamentary director of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced that defense spending will now be increased to two percent of economic output. Therefore, the medium-term financial planning must show a “clear increase” and cannot be frozen at 50 billion euros.

Union approval required

The background is that the SPD, Greens and FDP need the approval of the opposition Union for the planned amendment to the Basic Law for the Bundeswehr special fund of over 100 billion euros. The constitutional amendment is necessary because the special fund is to be financed entirely from loans, bypassing the debt brake. However, this requires a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag, which the coalition alone does not have. Negotiations with the Union have therefore been going on for weeks.

Frei emphasized that the traffic light government must meet the demands of the Union. For approval, the Union is also demanding a budget that specifies which weapon systems are to be purchased for the 100 billion euros and a repayment plan for the 100 billion euros in loans to be taken out.

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The postponement was announced yesterday. The reason is that the traffic light “is at odds with each other,” said Union housekeeper Mathias Middelberg. “This applies to the wording in the Basic Law, but also to the determination of the NATO goal of investing two percent of economic output in defense.”

Greens rely on agreement

Green party leader Britta Haßelmann left open before a group meeting when an agreement with the opposition group should be reached.

“The next few days will show that and the discussions that are still pending at the technical level,” said Hasselmann. She cannot imagine that the Union would evade an initiative to strengthen alliance and defense capabilities.

Left welcomes shift

The Left welcomes the move. Party leader Janine Wissler praised some MPs from the SPD and the Greens. The left rejects the plans to better equip the armed forces for fundamental reasons.

“When anchored in the Basic Law, rearmament would have constitutional status,” Wissler warned. “A new arms race will not make the world any more peaceful. Instead, investments in infrastructure and climate protection are needed instead of billions for combat drones, aircraft and tanks capable of nuclear weapons.”

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