Europe

Scholz’s Thumped Ruling Coalition Braces for Another Budget Crisis in 2025

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Chimauchem Nwosu Germany’s ruling coalition is not yet out of trouble after scraping through a vote to pass this year’s budget. Challenging times lie ahead as the nation’s 2025 spending plan faces a gaping €20 billion deficit, which must be reduced in line with the constitutional debt limit.The Bundestag’s hard-fought 2024 budget will most likely fall short of offering relief for Europe’s economy.The spending bill passed on Friday addresses last November’s government debt crisis.While it seems that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s fractious traffic light coalition has passed a difficult test, next year’s budget poses a similar challenge with a €20 billion ($21.7 billion) deficit remaining on the books, according to individuals acquainted with the calculations.Closing the budget gap will need agreement between political parties. The problem stems partly from a constitutional court verdict to bar the coalition government from using COVID-19 funds.EconomyGermany Freezes Spending as Top Court Blocks Diverting Previously Earmarked COVID Funds22 November 2023, 13:36 GMTThe borrowing cap puts limits on the lavish spending commitments in the the coalition’s founding agreement. The country has been in a constitutional debt brake since 2020, thanks to to the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.Germany’s budget disaster has hit the approval ratings of Scholz’s Social Democrats, Economic Minister Robert Habeck’s Greens, and Finance Minister Christian Lindner’s Free Democrats. The trio’s compromise on the budget means withdrawing financial cuts for farmers and depleting a reserve of over €6 billion. Сuts in social benefits and agricultural subsidies, causing protests by farmers across the country and the European Union also weigh on their negotiations.The budget discussions also hit sticking points like the FDP’s opposition to a tax increase. Changing strict borrowing rules is not politically feasible as it requires a majority vote in parliament, with three political parties backing it.WorldHow EU’s Ukraine and Climate Change Adventurism Kill Bloc’s Farming1 February, 19:10 GMTDemonstrations led by farmers protesting cuts to subsidies have swept across Germany, with the European economic powerhouse brought to a standstill last week after farmers blocking roads were joined by striking rail workers.

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