DThe criticism of the German draft budget by the American ambassador Richard Grenell has led to a sometimes heated debate. Strong criticism was expressed in SPD and FDP, but Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) remained cautious. Merkel defended the level of defense spending in Berlin during a conference on international politics on Tuesday and said that Germany has gradually increased its spending in recent years and will continue to do so. She also described the data in the medium-term financial planning for development in the following years as meaningless. "The actual costs," the Chancellor emphasized, "are crucial and have always been revised upwards." However, she could understand that President Donald Trump and some European partners were not doing enough for the German government.
Grenell had been confronted with critical remarks on several occasions with the displeasure of German politicians. For example, he called for the Nord Stream 2 and pipeline project to be stopped
threatened companies involved in sanctions. With regard to the planning of the federal budget, he mainly criticized the planned defense spending as too low.
Deputy FDP leader Wolfgang Kubicki demanded that Grenell be deported. He called on Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) to immediately declare Richard Grenell a persona non-grata, Kubicki told the AFP news agency on Tuesday. "Anyone who acts as a US diplomat as a high-ranking commissioner of occupying power must learn that our tolerance also has limits." Kubicki said he did not want to defend the "political plans" of the Federal Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz (SPD). "But that the American ambassador is again involved in political issues of the sovereign Federal Republic is no longer acceptable." Germany should not tolerate this disobedient behavior for self-esteem reasons. "
"Diplomatic total failure"
The spokesman for the Foreign Policy of the Greens, Omid Nouripour, called the question Kubicki "regular cheese". There are many reasons to criticize the ambassador, Nouripour said
the "New Osnabrücker Zeitung". Grenell was due to his office "the interface of political communication with the US". And it is precisely this communication during Donald Trump's term of office "as necessary as never before".
The parliamentary director of the SPD faction, Carsten Schneider, also rejected the criticism of the American ambassador. Richard Grenell in sharp words. "Mr. Grenell is a total diplomatic failure," said Schneider the German press agency (DPA) on Tuesday. Schneider said the ambassador has long maintained an intolerable tone and style among close allies. "All this rather reminds us of the pursuit of a flagellum." The ambassador does not seem to recognize that Germany is making an important contribution in the context of its alliance obligations, for example in Afghanistan. "With his repeated clumsy provocations, Mr. Grenell is damaging transatlantic relations," said the SPD politician.
According to Scholz's plans, the share of defense spending in GDP should rise slightly to 1.37 percent. The medium-term financial planning then foresees that it will fall again to 1.25 percent by 2023. Grenell said the dpa: "NATO members have clearly agreed to move to two percent by 2024 and not to leave," he told the German news agency. "The fact that the federal government is considering reducing its already unacceptable contributions to military preparedness is a disturbing signal from Germany to its 28 NATO allies."
The large coalition probably has a much smaller financial scope in the coming year than the last. This also has an impact on the defense budget. According to household benchmarks, Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) should receive a smaller plus than desired. Hans-Peter Bartels (EPD) critic for the Bundesdag's Armed Forces Commissioner criticized that: the resources provided in the benchmarks were not sufficient for "full equipment of the Bundeswehr," Bartels the dpa said. The goal of the coalition with a quota of 1.5 percent is good. "The troops expect it to be planned and reliably implemented."
Although plans Scholz in the benchmarks for the 2020 budget with additional expenditure of around two billion euros for the defense budget. Von der Leyen had demanded much more. Man "driving on sight," it said in the finance ministry.
From the FDP point of view, the large coalition is coming under increasing pressure throughout the household. With the benchmarks for the 2020 budget, Finance Minister Scholz must finally admit that the & # 39; good years are over & # 39 ;, said the FDP budget politician Otto Fricke, the German news agency in Berlin. "The once stable black zero, it has long since degenerated into the red zero." Scholz can only keep a budget without new debts on paper through a high so-called global deficit attack and generous, in nearly tens of billions, in the asylum center and refugee reserve. "Now it is clear that Olaf Scholz is slowly but surely starting to shake."