German budget chaos: No vote on 2024 spending this year
The German parliament will not have time to vote on the country’s 2024 budget before the end of the year, a senior lawmaker from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) wrote in a text message sent to the party members and seen by several news agencies on Thursday.
“Although we have done as much as possible from our side, the budget for the year 2024 can no longer be finalized in time this year,” wrote Katja Mast, a senior SPD lawmaker.
However, Mast added, referring to discussions in the party leadership that Scholz “is confident that a result can be achieved in the coming days.”
Scholz’s three-party coalition with the environmentalist Greens and business-focused FDP is under huge pressure to resolve the country’s budget crisis, which followed a landmark court ruling that struck down some of the government’s spending plans.
Now the coalition has to find a solution for the 2024 budget, which is €17 billion short.
Scholz is currently negotiating with Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). The talks are to continue on Friday. The SPD and Greens want the so-called debt brake to be suspended again, which the FDP rejects.
The SPD said it expected at least one meeting of the budget committee before Christmas to work out the details of the budget. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Wednesday that he expected a Cabinet decision before Christmas.