German Bundestag approves 140 bln euros extra debt in 2022

BERLIN, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The budget committee of German Bundestag (lower house of Parliament) on Friday adopted the country's annual budget for 2022, allowing total spending of 496 billion euros (523.5 billion U.S. dollars) and about 140 billion euros in new debt.

The new debt includes a supplementary budget of around 40 billion euros that was submitted at the end of April for "measures directly related to the consequences" of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced earlier this year the creation of a special defense fund worth 100 billion euros, stressing that the country would strive to make its annual defense spending reach 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Due to measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Europe's largest economy had already planned to take on new debt of almost 100 billion euros before the start of the Ukraine crisis.

To do so, the country's so-called debt brake, which stipulates that the federal and state budgets must generally be balanced without revenues from borrowing, was temporarily suspended.

Minister of Finance Christian Lindner strongly supports the restoration of compliance with the debt brake. "You have to find the exit from crisis mode," he said last week. (1 euro = 1.06 U.S. dollar)

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