Germany’s Minister of Finance Christian Lindner defended a supplementary budget of 60 billion euros ($67 billion) for climate protection and digitization.
“By no means it is a matter of funding general projects,” Lindner said, stressing that the money would only be used to cushion damage resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The fund’s resources are used in a targeted manner, for transformative investments,” Xinhua news agency quoted Lindner as saying in the Bundestag debate on the supplementary budget, which was approved by the new Olaf Scholz government on Monday.
Opposition parties accused the government of violating the country’s constitution by approving the reallocation of unused funds that were originally earmarked for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, Germany’s so-called debt brake, which stipulates that federal and state budgets must generally be balanced without revenues from borrowing, was temporarily suspended but is to apply again from 2023.
Lindner confirmed the government’s plans to resume compliance with the debt brake, pointing out that many investments had been put on hold because of the pandemic.
“We must not lose time in the transformation process,” he added, “not only people need a booster, but also the economic development.”