The SPD and the Greens are committed to reforming the debt brake – the FDP rejects it

Berlin (Reuters) – Immediately before Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government statement on budget policy, the SPD and the Greens reiterated their call for a reform of the debt brake.

“We cannot manage the crisis from the normal budget,” said SPD co-chairwoman Saskia Esken on ZDF on Tuesday, pointing to a high need for investment. “We want to modernize the debt brake,” announced the chairwoman of the Green Party parliamentary group, Katharina Dröge, on ZDF. In contrast, FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr rejected a change in “stern”.

Dröge relies on the Union state leaders for reform. “There are now many Prime Ministers of the Union who have signaled that they can imagine such a reform, and then we should talk to each other about whether we can come to a solution here,” she said, alluding to the CDU, for example. Country leaders in Berlin, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, for example. If we didn’t invest in infrastructure now, we would leave the next generation with debts, then in the form of broken bridges, dilapidated schools, slow internet or an escalating climate crisis. In order to reform the debt brake anchored in the Basic Law, the government needs a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat. Both CDU leader Friedrich Merz and CSU chairman Markus Söder rejected a reform on Monday.


Following the Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling, the traffic light coalition has agreed on a supplementary budget for 2023, but it still has to draw up a budget for 2024. There is a conflict between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, for example over the question of whether the debt brake will be suspended again by declaring an “emergency situation”. Green party leader Dröge left this open. “We will now examine this very carefully,” she said. One reason could be Ukraine’s continued support in the war against Russia. “That’s why we’ll discuss it with each other to see whether that’s a way forward.” SPD leader Esken called for another suspension.

FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr contradicted this. “You can’t just decide on an emergency, but you have to justify it objectively with an exceptional situation that has recently arisen,” he told the “stern”. “I don’t see such an exceptional situation at the moment”. The economic situation is challenging. “But it is not a new exceptional situation,” he emphasized.

According to a new survey, only a third of Germans believe that a Union-led federal government could solve the budget crisis better than the traffic light government. To a corresponding question in a Forsa survey for the RTL Group, 59 percent answered “no” and 35 percent answered “yes”. Only six percent of Greens and 18 percent of SPD voters believe that the CDU/CSU can manage the crisis more successfully. 39 percent of the FDP believe this. Among Union supporters, 68 percent are convinced that better policies would be made with a government led by the CDU/CSU; a quarter doubt this.

(Report by Andreas Rinke, Anneli Palmen; edited by Hans Busemann; If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at [email protected] (for politics and economics) or [email protected] (for companies and markets ).)