When Christian Lindner (FDP) presented the federal budget on Wednesday, the finance minister sounded almost philosophical.
The coalition agreement, that was text.
But now it's about making "politics in numbers".
"We got to know each other again," said Lindner, referring to the budget negotiations with his cabinet colleagues.
Apparently there were no major disagreements.
The numbers stand.
The traffic light coalition is in office for 100 days this Thursday.
After this period, accounts are usually settled in Berlin: What has already been implemented from the coalition agreement and what has not?
But little is usual these days, and some of the coalition partners' plans have already been overtaken by reality.
Contrary to the hopes of the Greens in particular, stopping climate change is not the dominant issue.
The corona pandemic continues to take up a lot of political energy, and with the Ukraine war and its economic consequences, the next major crisis has already arrived.
Lindner rejected many of the wishes of his fellow ministers
The first thing the Federal Minister of Finance had to do was deliver something that he and his party would have liked to avoid: a supplementary budget for 2021 that would increase the energy and climate fund by 60 billion euros.
So that Robert Habeck (Greens), as Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, will have the funds available in the future that he demands for the restructuring of the economy.
The Liberals had criticized a similar operation by the previous government as unconstitutional.
With the cabinet decision on the 2022 budget and the financial plan up to and including 2026, the FDP chairman managed to significantly reduce new debt, but only in the core budget and without the announced war-related allowance.
The Bundeswehr will also receive an extra 100 billion euros – bypassing the usual budget and the debt brake.
Lindner rejected many of the wishes of his fellow ministers.
You will look in vain for projects from the coalition agreement such as the share pension, basic child security or super depreciation in his figures, they will at least be delayed.
Of the little that is in the coalition agreement on tax policy, one or the other has already been initiated or completed, such as the extended loss offsetting and the extension of the home office flat rate.
Because of the rise in inflation, the coalition went even further with an increase in the basic allowance, lump sum for employees and lump sum for commuters.
With his idea of a tank discount, the FDP leader took the coalition partners by surprise.
They are now demanding that their favorite projects be implemented quickly.
The climate and energy policy under Green Economics Minister Habeck is both slowed down and accelerated by the Ukraine war.
The construction of new gas-fired power plants announced in the coalition agreement as a transitional technology to pure green electricity generation is no longer a priority as long as Germany wants to become less dependent on Russian fuel.
Longer runtimes for coal and nuclear power plants are now being examined.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is effectively dead. Instead, liquid gas terminals are to be built, which were not yet mentioned in the coalition agreement.
1.5 billion euros are available for the LNG inlet.
In the future, alongside national oil reserves, there will also be reserves for gas and coal.
At the same time, the EEG surcharge will be abolished earlier than planned in order to relieve citizens of energy prices.
At the same time, after the 130 billion euro Corona aid programs, Habeck feels under pressure to help the economy also because of the high energy prices and the consequences of the Russia sanctions.
Again, there should be loans and grants.
Also in order to keep the companies' agreement to the tough course towards Russia.
With subsidies worth billions, Germany is to become less dependent on imports in the areas of microchips and battery cells.Keywords: