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Germany: Habeck asks for courage to go into debt

Green boss Robert Habeck wants Germany and the European Union to take out more loans in the future to finance the fight against climate change.

Berlin - The possibilities of the Basic Law should also be used for this, he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In addition, the public sector should be able to go into debt to help companies finance climate investments. With regard to the EU, he warned that an overly rigid austerity policy could help "liberal, democratic Europe to go further down the drain".

Habeck did not contradict the assumption that the volume of loans that the Basic Law still allows (0.35 percent of economic output) is currently around eleven to twelve billion euros. He noted that the agreements with the SPD and FDP from the exploratory talks phase made it possible to use this "leeway" for the debt brake. That is consensus among the exploratory partners.

In addition, companies that invested in environmentally friendly technology should get "help for the extra costs". "This is done through loans that the public sector would take out." With a view to the European Union, Habeck criticized the current stability rules, which limit the new debt of each member state to three percent of the gross domestic product and the total debt to sixty percent.

He pointed out that these provisions required "very rigid austerity programs" from some countries, with "severe social cuts". This leads to the "danger of political radicalization". Habeck summed up his call to take more courage to more sensible indebtedness in the image of the "Swabian housewife".

According to Habeck, if necessary, she would also take out loans for the training of her daughters so that they could "perhaps become doctors or journalists". With regard to important aspects of the fight against climate change, Habeck pointed out the differences between the SPD, Greens and FDP. This also applies to the future price for CO2 emissions. This should rise to a maximum of 65 euros per ton by 2026, but the greens want significantly more here. The explorations have apparently not yet reached a consensus. In any case, Habeck said they had "not yet come to an agreement".

Photo: mst/dpa.
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