The German Constitution protects the State from the temptation of borrowing in its article 110, which expressly prohibits the creation of debt in excess of the planned investment in the general budgets of each financial year. In 2009, after the improvised bailouts to the banking because of the great financial crisis, the Bundestag strengthened this protection with additional provisions in the articles 109, 115 and 143, so that the German Government cannot engage in a structural deficit above of 0.35% of GDP, well below the european commitment that was set by the Stability Pact in the 3% . This has been, in addition, the political line that Germany has imposed in the EU during the four legislatures of Angela Merkel and that has only begun to be called into question in the face of impending recession.
While the conservatives of the CDU insisted last week on the desirability of maintaining fiscal discipline, and aim to increase the investment-based games of juggling financial, taking advantage of the exceptional situation of interest rates zero or negative, the social democrats of the SPD were very much in favour of relaxing that discipline and the minister of Finance Olaf Scholz has mentioned a possible public investment program of about 50,000 million euros that could bring Germany to a situation similar to the one that incurred the chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
Now Green , the only party rising in the polls, raises the bet and calls for reforming new Constitution, not just to stop to remove the limit on the debt, but also to set a minimum percentage of investments that governments must respect. The proposal dinamitaría the concept of budget austerity that has governed Germany since the beginning of the century and which has moulded, by extension, the european fiscal policy.
"In a context like the present, the budgetary policy of research must be reliable, we want a standard binding, guaranteed by the Constitution, obliging the State to allocate funds to the investment and research," argues the co-chair of The Greens, Robert Habeck , "we are engaged in a fierce transformation, environmental and digital, and we have to give entrepreneurs the legal guarantee that they will be long-term policies that do not depend on governments." Habeck, of the wing to the more moderate of The Green, known as the "realos", proposes the creation of a Federal Fund of state Investment, giving 35,000 million euros would come from new debt". According to the mentioned constitutional limit of 0.35% of the GDP and according to the general budgets projected for 2020, Germany could only create new debt by value 4,900 million euros.future Generations
"it Is clear that what we propose requires at least relax the limit currently contained in the Constitution and seems reasonable in times of low interest rates, business cycle sponsor, climate crisis and delayed investments," says Habeck, who along with the co-chair, Annalena Bärbock and 10 political ecologists state, federal, and specialized have signed the document "Investing in the future".
The money, according to this document, it would be intended for projects of construction of public transport, to modernize the infrastructure of cargo, routes of highways, sustainable networks of heating, the new technologies of propulsion and reforestation of forests, in addition to the digitization of the economy and the administration. Only Deutsche Bahn, according to their calculations, should you invest in ten years 86.000 million euros. "Until now, it has been argued that the balance of the budget on the grounds that the debt hampers future generations, but in the present context, it is the no investment that hampers to those generations. Germany invested about 18,000 million euros less than the european average each year and what we are proposing is that we will prepare the rest," he explains.
Green is currently the only political party in German that goes up in the polls. The last poll Deutschlandtrend, published by the public tv channel ARD last Sunday and prepared by on infratest dimap, gives you a 23% of the vote , near to the CDU of Merkel (27%) and clearly ahead of the SPD (14%), in a context in which the match anti-european AfD maintains the 15%. The Greens are, therefore, a member necessary for any coalition government that may form in the next legislature, initially scheduled for 2021 but may be advanced, given the state of depletion of the grand coalition.
"it Is imperative that the level of investment of the State to be bound by law to the performance of the economy. In the years of fat cows, the state investment should increase," he insists Habeck, "only in this way we will raffle the next and final storm, only in this way we will prepare the ground for the next generations to be able to maintain the current position of Germany and of Europe in the world". As to the destination of the investment, no discrepancy between the parties. The protection of the climate and the infrastructure will be the great beneficiaries.Updated Date: 12 September 2019, 14:00