In his "Zeitenwende" speech, Chancellor Scholz announced a 100 billion financial injection for the Bundeswehr. A vote in the Bundestag will now be postponed. According to Merz, this is due to talks with the Union, but above all to a dispute within the traffic light.
The traffic light coalition is postponing the vote planned for this week on the 100 billion program for the Bundeswehr. The point was therefore removed from the agenda of the Bundestag. The reason is that the traffic light "is at odds with each other," said Union housekeeper Mathias Middelberg. "This applies to the wording in the Basic Law, but also to the determination of the NATO goal of investing two percent of economic output in defense."
SPD, FDP and Greens want to invest 100 billion euros in defense via a special fund in the coming years. Because the money to bypass the debt brake should come entirely from loans, they want to change the Basic Law. However, this requires a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag, which the coalition alone does not have. Negotiations with the Union have therefore been going on for weeks.
Above all, the Union insists on legal clarification that the money will only be used for the Bundeswehr. The previously planned wording "to strengthen alliance and defense capability" leaves a lot of leeway. Middelberg argued that Social Democrat Chancellor Olaf Scholz had clearly announced that the money would go to the armed forces. However, the Greens and parts of the SPD are "a great distance from the positions of their own chancellor".
The Union is also demanding a permanent increase in defense budgets and enshrining in law NATO's two percent target - spending at least two percent on defense. Scholz had announced the rearmament of the Bundeswehr at the end of February as a consequence of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil confirmed that the appointment in the Bundestag was "off the table". The talks with the Union were still ongoing. They are "very constructive". However, he could not give a date for an end. He hopes "that there will be a result soon".
CDU leader Friedrich Merz, who is also the head of the Union parliamentary group, said in Berlin that negotiations had last week until Thursday evening; this week it is expected to continue. But there are "more difficulties on the part of the coalition": According to his information, there is "an agreement between the CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP," said Merz. "But the Greens are not yet ready to make a decision."