N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
The German Constitutional Court finds the 2023 and 2024 federal budgets ‘extremely problematic’ because the socialist-green-liberal government finances many expenses with funds not included in the budget. The CDU, the Christian Democratic opposition, filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court in Stuttgart about it and the court ruled in favour of them. In the constitution, the article on ‘Schuldenbremse’ (brake debts) stipulates that the government is not allowed to do that.
The German Constitution says debts may be only incurred up to 0,35 percent of GDP, unless in an emergency. The Scholz government has been playing with the concept of ‘emergency’. What is certain is that the sixty billion euros, which Berlin had transferred from the corona pot to a Climate and Transformation Fund should not be kept out of the budget this way. The more than 200 billion euros from the Economic Stabilisation Fund may also be at risk, as that money was obtained through the same budgetary trick.
Parliament has invited experts to explain the consequences of the judgement. Is the 2023 budget valid? Should the 2024 budget proposal be redone? Does the judgement only apply to the Climate and Transformation Fund or are other special piggy banks that have been kept outside the budget also at risk? The Minister of Finance, the liberal Christian Lindner made it clear to the other ministers that no expenditure will be incurred for the time being that will have an impact on the budget and he has temporarily closed access to the two funds.
It is chaos in the Heimat! Where are the calm days of Angela Merkel? Even die Mannschaft is sharing the malaise…