Munich / Berlin (AP) - Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to help communities from the old debt trap - but calls his proposal, especially in Bavaria fierce criticism. The Free State categorically rejects financial participation in the proposed debt relief program.

"Bayern will not pay the bill for the failures of other countries," said Finance Minister Albert Füracker (CSU) of the German Press Agency in Munich. The parliamentary group vice-chairman of the Bundestag, Achim Post, criticized the fact that just one of the richest states refused to prophylactically say it was "as strange as it was significant".

Scholz had brought on Tuesday at a SPD event in Schwerin a new debt relief program in the conversation, which should help around 2500 municipalities with particularly high credit load under the arms.

He had emphasized that in addition to the federal government and the countries should participate in it. Over-indebted municipalities exist in all federal states, a concentration can be found in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Saarland, in Hesse and in Rhineland-Palatinate, said Scholz.

The initiative of the Minister of Finance was "a strong and reasonable signal of solidarity of the Federal Government," said SPD parliamentary group post, whose constituency is in North Rhine-Westphalia. A number of municipalities could foreseeably not free themselves from the vicious circle of increasing indebtedness on their own. For a joint effort of federal, state and local governments is necessary.

At the same time, Post expressed its understanding that states that are not affected by the problem of old debts themselves also make clear the limits of solidarity. Instead of a denial, however, it is necessary to speak constructively about models.

Füracker urged the Federal Government to ensure that such countries would not have to co-finance the reduction of high-level cash advances, which themselves did not use cash advances. "Living federalism needs a strong federal government and strong countries. But it does not work if the federal government daily presents new and politically unilateral proposals in the area of ​​competence of the federal states, which in the end should also co-finance them », he emphasized.

The focus of the federal government on the repayment of municipal cash credits in only a few states is also past the target. "Cash advances are in no way the basis for a fair distribution scale," said Füracker.

According to the Kommunales Finanzreport 2019 of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, cash advances, in a sense the syndicated loans of the municipalities and counties, hardly play a role in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Accordingly, the credit load in Bavaria at just 14 euros per inhabitant, in Baden-Württemberg at 19 euros per inhabitant. In North Rhine-Westphalia, however, it was 1343 euros, in Rhineland-Palatinate 1812 euros and in Saarland even 2070 euros.

Financial Report Bertelsmann Foundation