Union is "optimistic": hope for an agreement on special assets is growing

The CDU demands that only the Bundeswehr should benefit from the planned special fund.

Union is "optimistic": hope for an agreement on special assets is growing

The CDU demands that only the Bundeswehr should benefit from the planned special fund. Although the traffic light parties could have other plans, both Union politicians and Federal Minister of Economics Habeck believe in an agreement in the coming negotiations.

In the political tug-of-war over the planned special fund for the Bundeswehr, Economics Minister Robert Habeck is hoping for an agreement. Asked about what this will look like, Habeck told the "Welt am Sonntag" that "the Bundeswehr will receive as many new weapons and functional equipment as possible and that the financing of necessary security-related systems cannot be ruled out." The first parliamentary manager of the Union faction, Thorsten Frei, was also optimistic in the "Rheinische Post" that "we'll get an agreement on Sunday".

The Federal Government wants to strengthen the Bundeswehr with the special program of 100 billion euros and thus close equipment gaps. The special fund is to be anchored in the Basic Law, which requires a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat - so the CDU/CSU opposition must be brought on board. However, the Union has set several conditions for approval. What is controversial is exactly what the money should be spent on.

Habeck said: "It is undisputed that the Bundeswehr is now being made operational as soon as possible, that is necessary and expressly correct. The country's ability to defend itself is not defined solely by the number of weapons, but also by protection against digital attacks on critical infrastructure ." It is clear that all investments from the special fund relate to defense capability. "So we're not talking about the purchase of technical equipment for development cooperation. In my opinion, this debate about money can be easily resolved."

The Union wants to know by law that the special fund is used exclusively for the Bundeswehr. The wording "to strengthen alliance and defense capabilities" planned so far is too vague for her. Green politician Anton Hofreiter called on the Union to give up its resistance to the previously planned formulation. "The Union should not block itself further," Hofreiter told the "Rheinische Post". The pressure of expectations on the part of the allies is great in many areas. "Therefore, there would be little understanding if the strengthening of alliance and defense capabilities did not play a role."

CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt signaled the Union's willingness to reach an agreement. Dobrindt told the "Rheinische Post" that the prerequisite was compliance with the double promise made by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in his speech on the turning of the era in the Bundestag. "100 billion euros for the armed forces and permanently achieve the 2 percent target. We expect the traffic light to keep this double promise and fill it with life," said Dobrindt. That means anchoring the special fund for the armed forces in the Basic Law and codifying compliance with the 2 percent target in ordinary law. "We offer the traffic light our support for this path," said the head of the CSU state group. At the same time, Dobrindt also emphasized: "Circumventing the double promise will not find our approval."

Union faction deputy Mathias Middelberg told the "Rheinische Post" that it was difficult to find a compromise in the wording of the Basic Law. "It must be clear that the special fund will be used for the Bundeswehr and not for other purposes." CDU politician Frei urged hurry up in the negotiations for the special fund. "We should not wait any longer because nothing less than the security of our country is at stake."

SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich accused the Union of "party political games". One wants to decide on the special fund for the Bundeswehr together with the Union, he told the "Passauer Neue Presse". "However, I am concerned about the reliability of the Union, which does not focus on the interests of the Bundeswehr, but on its party tactical advantage." When asked when an agreement had to be reached with the special fund, Mützenich referred to the budget being passed next week. "It makes sense to also decide on the special fund," he said.

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