| 26 February 2024, Monday |

German budget crisis deepens as delay to 2024 talks looms

The administration of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to postpone budgetary negotiations for the upcoming year as it tries to find a way out of a worsening situation brought on by a court decision that has imposed a moratorium on fresh expenditure commitments.

A postponement of the Thursday talks would highlight the difficulties the administration has following the country’s constitutional court’s blocking of a plan to shift 60 billion euros ($65.44 billion) in pandemic money that were left over to green investments.

In a bombshell ruling last week, the court ruled the budget manoeuvre was incompatible with the debt restrictions enshrined in Germany’s constitution.

The three parties in Social Democrat (SPD) Scholz’s uneasy coalition with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) are trying to hammer out a solution to keep as many spending pledges as possible – and make them legally compliant.

With talks among politicians from all parties going on through the day, options include drawing up a supplementary budget for 2023 and suspending Germany’s self-imposed debt brake before reinstating it for next year.

  • Reuters