Stop social spending: Baerbock rejects Lindner’s proposal

As of: February 25, 2024 6:53 p.m

The traffic light agrees that more money needs to flow into defense. There are different views on where the money should come from. Finance Minister Lindner wants to save on social spending. That is out of the question for Foreign Minister Baerbock.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has rejected Finance Minister Christian Lindner’s proposal to save on social spending and subsidies in order to be able to spend more money on defense.

In order to strengthen one’s own defense capacity, new financial resources are urgently needed, said Baerbock in the evening Report from Berlin. For this purpose, for example, it makes sense to expand the special fund for the Bundeswehr that was decided jointly with the Union. Another possibility is that spending on security will not be subject to the debt brake in the future. “Putting social security against the protection of freedom, I don’t know whether that is the most sensible way,” explained the Green politician.

Mützenich also considers the moratorium to be “not helpful”

Last week, Lindner proposed a multi-year moratorium on social spending and subsidies in order to be able to invest more money in defense. “If we managed to get by with what we have for three years, then that would be a really big step towards consolidation,” explained the FDP politician.

SPD parliamentary group leader Ralf Mützenich made similar comments to Baerbock. Lindner’s proposed moratorium on social spending was “not helpful,” he said Report from Berlin. You can see how many people have to try to make ends meet at the end of the month or even have to increase their wages. “That’s why I can only recommend that the finance minister take a closer look.” He considers it a “big problem” that some people are playing off aid to Ukraine against social interests. The SPD will not allow this, explained Mützenich.

Don’t make security a campaign issue

Baerbock was confident that it would be possible to convince the Union to increase the special funds for the Bundeswehr. The most important thing is not to make the issues of peace, freedom and security a campaign issue or to play them off between the parties. The crucial things, such as the special fund, were decided jointly between the government and the largest opposition faction, said the minister. Ultimately, it is also about defending the freedom of Ukraine and thus also European freedom. “We now have to discuss this further together.”

Baerbock was in Ukraine at the weekend, but had to cut short his visit there early due to a drone alarm.

EU needs common defense

With regard to the EU, Baerbock said it was now important to work together to launch a European defense union. This should not just be about procuring ammunition and defense systems, but about developing them, using funds efficiently and strengthening each other. “We need a common European defense industry, we need common European procurement, we need a common European defense union within the framework of NATO,” said Baerbock.

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