German government parties debate new public debt to fight climate change – report
An increasing number of MPs from Germany's governing parties are in favour of abandoning the target of a balanced budget in order to finance the fight against climate change, reports Martin Greive in business daily Handelsblatt. "There is a growing conviction within the Social Democrats (SPD) to take on new debt to save the climate," Greive writes, adding that a balanced budget is no longer considered “sacrosanct” in parts of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU). "There is a risk that all these calls for climate policy expenses are pushing us into an automatism that can't be stopped," an unnamed conservative told the author. Various candidates for the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have openly called to take on new debt at a time when the budget is already strained by the economic slowdown.
With reference to the "climate cabinet" meeting on 20 September, when far-reaching decisions are expected to be taken, Greive writes: "Questioning the balanced budget policy was almost considered treason. But 20 September could turn into the day when the federal government breaks with this longstanding paradigm."