The government and the conservative opposition of Germany They reached an agreement to relax the budgetary rules of the constitution in order to unlock 100,000 million euros to modernize their army in the face of the Russian threat.
The compromise was reached on Sunday night after difficult negotiations that lasted several weeks between the government coalition parties (Social Democrats, environmentalists and liberals) and the conservatives, representatives of those movements told AFP.
The agreement will make it possible to fulfill Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz’s promise after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, to release special funds of 100 billion euros (107 billion dollars) to rearm the country in the coming years and modernize the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) and their ancient equipment.
Berlin will also be able to meet the target set by the NATO to allocate 2% of its annual GDP to defense.
Speaking to the regional press, scholz he said the deal will “significantly strengthen” the security of Germany and its NATO allies.
“Germany will soon have the largest conventional NATO army in Europe,” he said in an interview to be published on Tuesday.
The exceptional funds will be financed with additional debt, and therefore it was necessary to circumvent the constitutional rules known as “debt brakes” that strictly limit the possibility of a budget deficit.
The government needed the support of the main opposition force, the conservative CDU/CSU bloc, because two-thirds of Parliament is required to approve the exception.
The resources will be allocated to a “special fund” outside the national budget.
The negotiations were difficult, both because of the use of money and because the government and the opposition are in conflict over policy towards Ukraine.
Conservatives have criticized the Social Democratic chancellor for his timid support for kyiv on weapons supply.