Wednesday July 17, 2024

Scholz defends cuts to 2025 German budget

Published : 23 Jun 2024, 20:18

  DF News Desk
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives to the ARD summer interview on "Bericht aus Berlin" on Sunday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended cuts to the 2025 federal budget planned by Germany's three-party coalition in an interview on Sunday with public broadcaster ARD, reported dpa.

"We have to manage on the money that we have. There's no way round that," Scholz said.

The coalition, made up of Scholz's Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the pro-business liberal Free Democrats (FDP), had firmly decided to draw up a budget based on the financial plans of the various ministries, he said.

Constructive talks were proceeding, Scholz said, expressing confidence that the government "will have the budget under way in July."

Scholz, Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the FDP and Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck of the Greens have launched difficult negotiations on the budget, with several ministries baulking at cuts to their budgets.

Lindner, however, is insisting that the budget conform to the strict restrictions on new debt laid down in the German constitution, known as the "debt brake."

Asked whether the Ukraine war could be used as an emergency to lift the restrictions and create leeway for new debt, Scholz said the aim was "first of all to do the homework and go through the individual budget allocations one at a time and not to look for the easy way out."

Once that had been done, and a problem remained, that would have to be discussed jointly, he said.