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Friedrich Merz: The opposition politician rejects demands of SPD and Green top politicians

Photo: Liesa Johannssen / REUTERS

Opposition leader Friedrich Merz has found clear words in the budget crisis and sharply attacked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). From the point of view of the CDU/CSU leader, Scholz is directly responsible for the crisis of the traffic light coalition.

"You are a plumber of power. They lack any idea of how this country should develop in the coming years," said the CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader and CDU chairman in the Bundestag. Scholz had previously presented "purely technical answers to a highly political decision" in his government statement on the budget ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court.

His traffic light alliance had tried in a "brazen way" to circumvent the debt ceilings. It was therefore necessary for the Constitutional Court to put an end to that manoeuvre. In mid-November, the judges in Karlsruhe had cancelled 60 billion euros from the KTF climate fund because it had been transferred there unconstitutionally. The traffic light had wanted to reallocate unused Corona loans and use them for climate projects over several years, even after the debt brake in the Basic Law was no longer to be suspended.

"We are well aware of the implications of this decision by the Constitutional Court," Merz said. The government has just presented a supplementary budget that makes it necessary to suspend the debt brake again. In addition, the draft budget for 2024 is on hold because of the need for additional savings.

Merz said the house of cards of the traffic light had collapsed. As a former finance minister, Scholz himself designed the construction overturned by the court. That is why at least a word of regret or apology would have been necessary in the government statement; However, this did not happen.

The CDU leader also reproached Scholz in comparison to previous SPD chancellors: "You can't do it." He added: "The shoes you are wearing as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany are at least two shoe sizes too big for you."

Merz rejected calls from top SPD and Green politicians to support a reform of the debt brake in the Bundestag. The Union will stick to the debt brake. Some CDU politicians, such as Berlin's Governing Mayor Kai Wegner, had recently shown themselves open to changes. "The decisions are made here in the German Bundestag and not in the Berlin City Hall," Merz said.