Scholz says top court’s budget ruling means ‘new reality’

Image: Annegret Hilse/REUTERS

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has addressed lawmakers about his coalition government’s budget crisis. Ministers must fill a hole in state finances after a bombshell Constitutional Court ruling on borrowing.

Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, is debating the country’s budget shortfall on Tuesday after Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statement to lawmakers.

A gap in government finances emerged after the Constitutional Court earlier this month ruled that unused pandemic funds could not be repurposed for climate and green industry projects.

The court said the state could not rechannel reserve emergency loans for separate post-pandemic projects because this did not meet the constitutional requirements for emergency borrowing — blowing a hole in the government’s budget.

What was said in the Bundestag?

Scholz said the ruling would have an impact on Germany’s various levels of government from this time on.

“This ruling creates a new reality — for the federal government and for all current and future governments, federal and state. A reality that, however, it makes important and widely shared goals more difficult for our country to achieve.”

The chancellor admitted that his government would have taken different decisions had this new reality been clear when it took power two years ago.

“With knowledge of the current decision, we would have taken different paths in winter 2021,” he said.

Ending his speech, Scholz said he would move forward “with the necessary calm and with responsibility for our country. That’s what I stand for as chancellor.”


Courtesy of DW