Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) wants to ease the debt brake for the countries. This reports the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. In the negotiations on a reorganization of the federal-state financial relations Schäuble has suggested that the countries may continue to take up loans after 2020, writes the paper, citing negotiation documents and other unspecified sources. According to the current legal situation, this is forbidden to them. In 2009, the Basic Law was revised accordingly.
For the federal government, the debt brake is already in effect from 2016, but it should be able to continue borrowing within narrow limits – 0.35 percent of the gross domestic product is allowed. “The Confederation offers to provide the countries with part of its credit financing leeway,” cited the “SZ” from a negotiation document. Schäuble had already mentioned the topic in the discussions with the countries, it was said from several sources.
It was discussed, for example, that in future the Confederation would only be allowed to borrow in the amount of 0.2 percent, while 0.15 percent would be available to the federal states. The amount of the total potential debt of the state would remain the same.
Schäuble’s offer is subject to conditions, writes the “SZ”. He wanted to transform the Stability Council, in which the Federation and the Länder are represented, into a genuine control authority, which could impose and enforce sanctions for breaches of the debt brake.