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Vital for Europe: Scholz vows to keep military and financial aid to Ukraine

Vital for Europe: Scholz vows to keep military and financial aid to Ukraine German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Military and financial support for Ukraine holds vital importance for Europe and will be maintained despite Germany's budgetary challenges, declared German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to The Guardian.

"We will continue with this support as long as it is necessary. This support is of existential importance. For Ukraine … but also for us in Europe," he said in the Bundestag.

While acknowledging the budgetary issues in Germany, Scholz emphasized that it is inconceivable to ignore the potentially more severe consequences of Putin's victory in this war for Europe.

According to Bloomberg, Scholz pledged that his government would continue to invest funds necessary for the modernization of the economy and the support of international competitiveness even after the recent court decision.

The Constitutional Court's decision

The Constitutional Court's decision requires Scholz's ruling coalition to transfer billions of euros from special funds to the regular federal budget, significantly limiting maneuvering space and potentially jeopardizing projects ranging from industrial production eco-friendly initiatives to the development of solar energy and the expansion of battery and semiconductor manufacturing.

Scholz argued that neglecting the modernization of Germany would be a serious, unforgivable mistake considering the challenges the country faces, including dealing with the aftermath of Russia's war with Ukraine and addressing climate change.

He said that it'd be possible to respond robustly to unforeseen crises in the future only if Germany modernized.

Following the court's decision on November 15, Scholz's ruling coalition, consisting of his Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats, approved an additional budget for 2023 on Monday, which includes suspending rules restricting net new borrowing for the fourth consecutive year.

The government will have to account for new off-budget borrowing in the financial plan for the next year, and Scholz stated that consultations on the 2024 financial plan are not yet finalized, cautioning that caution is more important than speed.

He did not specify whether the ruling coalition plans to again suspend the so-called debt brake next year.

Scholz stated that the government is working intensively with the Bundestag to adopt all decisions necessary for the 2024 budget as quickly as possible, emphasizing the need for clarity for citizens and companies in turbulent times.

Germany must continue initiatives in areas such as modern and digital infrastructure, environmentally friendly energy supply, and clean technologies if it wants to keep pace with rivals like the U.S., France, China, and Japan, all of whom are massively investing in the future, Scholz remarked.

"We are on the threshold of a new era, comparable in scale only to the beginning of the industrial age in the 19th century," he added.

Assistance to Ukraine

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius previously stated that the country intends to double military aid to Ukraine in 2024. Instead of the initially allocated 4 billion euros in the federal budget, the plan is to spend 8 billion euros for these purposes.

However, the uncertainty surrounding the budget for 2024 raises questions about this assistance.