In order for the Bundeswehr to receive the much-discussed 100 billion package, the government and opposition still had to clarify key points. The parties have now settled the dispute.
The 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr can be approved by the Bundestag this week. The traffic light coalition has provided the "clarifying documents" required by the Union for the procurement list of armaments, said CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt.
The defense and budget committees then approved the templates. As planned, the Bundestag can finally vote on the special fund on Friday. The Defense Committee of the Bundestag had already discussed the list of armaments projects on Wednesday morning. However, the Union complained that there had been changes compared to previous versions and requested more time for the test. Therefore, a special meeting of the Defense Committee was scheduled for the evening.
According to reports, no more changes have been made to the list. According to the armaments list, the lion's share of the funds from the special fund, at almost 41 billion euros, should be used for the Air Force. In particular, the plan is to purchase US F-35 stealth fighter jets, a Eurofighter version for electronic warfare and to arm the Heron drone. In addition, new corvettes and frigates are planned for the Navy, as well as successors to the Marder armored personnel carrier and the Fuchs troop carrier.
It was added that the repayment of the loans taken out by the fund of up to 100 billion euros should begin on January 1, 2031 at the latest. Before the fund is set up by the Bundestag resolution, this special fund is to be exempted from the debt brake by an amendment to the Basic Law. They had already informed the traffic light coalition and the Union on Sunday evening.
The economic plan for the planned armaments projects to be financed from the fund was also approved. The printed matter provides for commitment authorizations for borrowing "for future years" with a volume of 81.91 billion euros. However, the planned volume of up to 100 billion euros will remain, according to coalition circles.
Projects previously planned in the defense budget with a volume of around 15 billion euros would be transferred to the special fund. Another three billion euros are intended to cover the financing costs of the special fund, i.e. interest on loans. Spread over a number of years, this would free up new leeway in the defense budget, which would be used for additional but smaller investment projects. The defense budget will not be cut as a result, but only rebuilt.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the special fund at the end of February after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is intended to eliminate massive equipment shortages in the Bundeswehr. A two-thirds majority is required for the planned amendment to the Basic Law. Therefore, the traffic light parties need the approval of the Union.