Federal government: Habeck cancels trip to climate conference due to budget crisis

Federal government: Habeck cancels trip to climate conference due to budget crisis

Negotiations at the top level of the coalition on the budget for 2024 appear to be entering the decisive phase. This is supported by the fact that the Vice Chancellor is needed in Berlin and is canceling a trip.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) canceled a trip to the World Climate Conference in Dubai and the region planned from Monday evening due to the budget crisis.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Berlin said Habeck’s presence in Berlin was necessary to further advance discussions on the 2024 budget following the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling. This was done in consultation and at the request of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). The trip will be postponed until the earliest possible date.

The traffic light coalition made up of the SPD, Greens and FDP is under great pressure to make decisions in the budget crisis. In an overview of the Federal Government’s schedule, the participation of, among others, Economics and Climate Protection Minister Habeck at the World Climate Conference in Dubai was scheduled for Tuesday. In the following days, Habeck also planned talks in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Israel.

Coalition must come to an agreement

The negotiations on the budget are currently taking place primarily in a three-way round with Scholz, Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). The coalition must reach an agreement within the next few days – if it wants to decide on the budget for 2024 this year. There should be a basic political agreement by the cabinet meeting on Wednesday so that there is still enough time for the parliamentary procedure.

The Federal Constitutional Court had declared the reallocation of 60 billion euros in the 2021 budget to the climate and transformation fund to be null and void. The money was approved as a Corona loan, but was subsequently intended to be used for climate protection and the modernization of the economy. At the same time, the judges decided that the state was not allowed to set aside emergency loans for later years. But the federal government did this in special funds – which is now tearing additional holes in the budget. Lindner sees a “need for action” of 17 billion euros for 2024.

What is now controversial are possible savings, especially in social spending – and whether the debt brake should be suspended again next year due to an emergency and with reference to the burdens caused by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Source: Stern

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