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German chancellor defends 2025 budget in face of opposition scorn

compromise over the 2025 federal budget arrived at by his three-party coalition in the face of scorn from the opposition.

A way had been found to fund assistance to Ukraine, while also financing Germany’s own needs, Scholz told a meeting of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Weimar to the south-west of Berlin.

“And for that reason, it’s a good budget that the federal government has agreed after a long time and a sleepless night,” Scholz said, acknowledging that the three-party coalition had wrangled over it.

The heads of the SPD, the Greens and the pro-business liberal FDP conducted overnight talks into Friday morning to strike a deal on a draft budget after months of discussion.

Speaking at an SPD event to kick of its campaign for state elections in Thuringia in September, Scholz emphasised expenditure on children and families. There would also be investment in roads and rail, he noted.

“The federal government’s investment budget will rise sharply,” he said.

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Germany would also be investing in its domestic and foreign security, Scholz said. While the defence budget would rise by only €1.2 billion to €52 billion ($56 billion), Scholz insisted that the necessary funds were being set aside for defence and that the German military would be better equipped than in the past.

Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, also of the SPD, had called for an additional €6 billion.

Responding to the budget deal, opposition leader Fridrich Merz predicted the coalition would collapse before the summer was out.

“It may well be the case that we will have to come to Berlin at short notice,” the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader said, suggesting that parliament would have to convene during the recess.

“The three-party coalition is not that stable that it will last through the summer,” he predicted in remarks to the Rheinische Post newspaper.

dpa

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