Despite imposing a spending freeze amid a budget crisis, Germany has decided to send another $1.4 billion in military aid to fund the Ukraine war.
Germany’s finance ministry recently imposed a “spending freeze” on all federal ministries after the country’s Constitutional Court issued a ruling that the country’s far-left government’s “environmental strategy — a plan to repurpose €60 billion left over from an emergency COVID-19 fund to finance the coalition’s climate agenda — was unconstitutional,” according to Politico.
Good Morning from #Germany where budget crisis deepened w/FinMin imposed an unprecedented emergency spending freeze in response to last week’s ruling by country’s top court, which found shifting of unused debt authorization between off-budget funds to be unconstitutional.… pic.twitter.com/ZPw74Su6gT
— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) November 21, 2023
The government’s desired plan to move Germany away from fossil fuels will likely fail without this money, and the three-way coalition government formed by Germany’s Social Democrats with the Greens and the conservative Free Democrats back in 2021 may be in jeopardy because of the spending freeze as well.
“If the parties fail to find a new way to finance those plans, the coalition itself could quickly collapse, some analysts warn,” Politico asserted.
The spending freeze was announced in a letter to all ministries from State Secretary Werner Gatzer, who declared that the decision was made “in order to avoid further upfront burdens on future financial years.”
However, this decision will not impact financial commitments that had already been made, according to Kevin Kühnert, the secretary general of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD).
One such financial commitment is a massive military aid package to Ukraine, which many have argued should have been the first thing on the chopping block when it came to budget cuts — as the German government, in a budget crisis, should probably be focused on spending its limited funds helping its own citizens.
During an unannounced visit to Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius unveiled the $1.4 billion military aid package, which includes “four further IRIS T-SLM air defense systems as well as artillery ammunition,” according to a report from AFP.
“I am here again, firstly to pledge further support but also to express our solidarity and deep bond and also our admiration for the courageous, brave and costly fight that is being waged here,” the defense minister said during a speech while laying flowers at Maidan Square in central Kyiv.
Germany will send Ukraine another military aid package worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.42 billion) that will include an additional IRIS-T air defence unit. pic.twitter.com/As2cPsUZXT
— In Context (@incontextmedia) November 22, 2023