The federal government is expected to borrow nearly 180 billion euros in the next year to offset the economic effects of the pandemic. The Chancellor said the money would have to be paid back from 2023.
While the German legislature is preparing for the debate on the government’s 2021 budget, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the enormous promise of aid to fight the coronavirus pandemic cannot last indefinitely.
In her weekly video podcast, Merkel said that as a result of the health crisis, the country is now carrying a very large debt burden that will have to be repaid from 2023.
She admitted, however, that the costs to the German economy and society would have been „even higher“ had the government not intervened with an unprecedented package of support to support businesses and the public.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the goal of the federal government has been to „mobilize our country’s financial resources to counter the crisis,“ she added.Coronavirus hat auch Sommerfest ideen.
Germany in a strong position
Merkel said the enormous sums committed both this and next year are only possible because the government has maintained a budget surplus over the past few years.
The Chancellor added that the grants and support programs offered by the state had „laid a solid foundation for the period when the pandemic was under control.“
Then the German economy should be in a good starting position to grow again quickly.
„However, the federal, state and local governments must work together constructively and well to overcome the pandemic and its consequences as well as possible,“ she warned.
Almost double debt
Last month, the government announced plans to take out nearly EUR 180 billion (USD 218 billion) in new debt next year, almost double the EUR 96 billion originally touted by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.
The additional borrowing will be the second highest net new borrowing in Europe’s largest economy since the end of World War II and comes after the government raised a record borrowing of around EUR 218 billion this year.
The financial plans urged ministers to suspend constitutional debt limits in 2021 after parliament abandoned them earlier this year.
The Bundestag is due to vote on the new budget this week, but some opposition politicians have accused the government of using the health emergency to spark a huge wave of public spending ahead of next year’s general election.