MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Mister President! Dear Colleagues! In the course of this debate the question has been discussed: are we still in crisis? Do we even have an emergency situation that makes these consequences for the federal budget necessary? I think that when you look reality in the eye, there can be no doubt at all: We have come through well so far; but we are far from over the mountain.
(Dr. Gesine Lötzsch [DIE LINKE]: That’s right!)
Of course, if we compare the current situation with that in March, we find: Fortunately, daycare centers are open again, schools are open, shops are open, restaurants are open, the borders are open again, we have again regular session weeks in the German Bundestag. All of this sometimes leads us to smell something like normal, to believe that it could be normal by now. But if you look at the numbers, if you look at the development, if you look at the worries about autumn, if you look around Europe and especially if you see the number of deaths worldwide, then there can be no doubt about it: we must continue to be careful. We must continue to act consistently. We must not be negligent because it is about human life.
Dr. Gauland, to put it so openly and clearly, I was embarrassed when you set off the corona deaths against other deaths. I find it unworthy
(Applause from the CDU / CSU, the SPD, the FDP, the LEFT and the BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN)
because it is about health, about the people who live among us, about all of us.
But it is also about finances – and with it the budget debate. If we imagine that the number of cases went up again and we had to shut down public life again so that the income would collapse even more and the expenditure would be even higher, then at some point we would be at a point where we had to say: can we can no longer afford it financially. – We have reacted strongly and continue to react strongly, but our options are limited. That is one of the reasons why we must now remain cautious and consistent.
The Federal Minister of Finance spoke yesterday about the federal budget, including the black zero. What he said about this with a view to the past is correct. He said: We have had balanced budgets since 2014, and the solid business practices in the past now make this strong reaction possible. – That is perhaps a bit technically expressed, but it is easy to translate: Without the black zero yesterday, no oomph and no bazooka today.
(Dr. Gesine Lötzsch [DIE LINKE]: What is actually “Wumms”?)
The key to the strong response today is solid economics yesterday.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
There is also no doubt: we had the black zero before Corona, and without Corona we would have it now. But two things have come together: The income has collapsed and we have high expenditures – expenditures for employees, expenditures for the economy, expenditures for the municipalities, expenditures for the economy; We also invest in the future. Both of these lead to the fact that we now have to make use of the exemption from the debt brake once again. This also shows that the debt brake brings with it the flexibility that is necessary to react appropriately to crisis situations. But we also have to say: an exception must remain an exception, and as soon as we are out of this crisis, we have to go back to the debt brake. That has to happen in 2022.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
That is why I want to say to the Greens and especially to those of the left: If you say: “We are going to make an exception now, and if things go better after that, then we will continue as we are now”, then it cannot be the right path to the future.
(Steffi Lemke [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: None of us said that either! – Dr. Gesine Lötzsch [DIE LINKE]: “Go on as now” by no means! We need a better government!)
Incidentally, that has nothing to do with sustainability. You are now talking about a reform of the debt brake, which we passed by broad consensus because we said: we need a lever in the constitution, a brake, to prevent more and more debt from being incurred, even in good times. – That’s where you want to go now. You call it “reform of the debt brake”, in truth you want to abolish it.
(Anja Hajduk [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: No! – Steffi Lemke [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: No! Wrong! You also know that this is not true!)
You don’t want to brake, you want to accelerate when you run into debt with lead feet. This is not a way that is sustainable. When it comes to financial sustainability, you are in trouble.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
That cannot be done with us. For us, the following applies: Stay away from the Basic Law! For us, solid business and solid finances are a pillar of sustainability alongside the “environment” and “social” pillars.
But it is just as important for us that we invest. Let’s talk about why some investments don’t go as fast as they need to be. We also have to talk about the duration of planning procedures. Our offer is that by interlinking all levels of government, we do everything to ensure that the funds arrive more quickly where we need to invest. It is necessary. That is what we need to talk about and we will do.
By the way, Mr Lindner, because you have taken care of the funds for education and research, I have the good news for you:
(Otto Fricke [FDP]: Now don’t come with the 60s!)
that in the next year the funds for education and research will not decrease. They will increase because the EKF also includes funds for AI, for hydrogen, for quantum computers as part of the section 60 that you mentioned.
(Otto Fricke [FDP]: Yes, yes! But in the budget!)
You can be sure – take a look at this at the end of the year – that more is being invested in education and research. It’s good.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU – Christian Lindner [FDP]: from 5.1 to 4.8 percent!)
Let’s talk about how together we can get more investments into the future, but also about how we can get out of the crisis. Incidentally, we disagree with the Finance Minister. We do not believe that tax increases are the right way to get out of the crisis. In view of the situation in which we find that our success depends to a large extent on SMEs in Germany, because they are our backbone, it is downright paradoxical to say after the crisis: We are now capping the ones we supported.
(Dr. Gesine Lötzsch [DIE LINKE]: It’s about the millionaires and billionaires!)
That cannot be right, and we as a Union will not go along with it either. We have to get out of this crisis with our economy.
I think we should talk a little more about these issues than about Bonn’s local politics. You can discuss them elsewhere; you are closer to that too. I saw that the FDP also had a candidate there; he got 3.5 percent of the vote. In this respect, both of our parties still have reason to analyze.
(Ralph Brinkhaus [CDU / CSU]: Very correct! – Otto Fricke [FDP]: Huh?)
To sustainability. Climate protection has been addressed. I want to say that the Chancellor has our support in the path that she has described for more climate protection in Europe; because that is the way to more climate protection internationally. It’s a global question. Ms. Weidel, Dr. Gauland, look at the state of the German forest, which is suffering from climate change. You can’t ignore that.
(Ulli Nissen [SPD]: But they do! – Dr. Gesine Lötzsch [DIE LINKE]: They can! – Dr. Alice Weidel [AfD]: Nevertheless, you are clearing the forest for wind turbines!)
Others are already hit harder. So we have to do something about it. We do it through the German budget with investments in climate protection, we do it through the European package with investments in climate protection; Because now we have to see that everyone in Europe comes on board, that we can achieve climate neutrality together, that we strengthen market-based instruments such as emissions trading. We must also work together to create the conditions for, for example, a hydrogen strategy to generate the enormous amounts of renewable energies that we then need, in Germany, in Europe, but also within the framework of partnerships with North Africa. We need something like South Stream, a green hydrogen pipeline through the Mediterranean Sea, as part of a partnership with the countries there for the benefit of all.
(Applause from Deputy Michael Theurer [FDP])
We have to get started. This is the way we want and the way we need. Bringing climate protection and business together, there is no contradiction; both are part of sustainability.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU as well as from members of the SPD and Member of Parliament Michael Theurer [FDP])
That brings me to Europe. The German tax money was discussed today. Yes, it is about German tax money, but – I want to say that clearly – it is also about the German economy. You cannot separate them from the partners in Europe. If we were to do what you want, namely to raise the borders and break the bridges, we would be affected because we need strong partners in Europe for our products. A strong Germany can only exist with a strong Europe.
(Dr. Alice Weidel [AfD]: We pay for the exports ourselves through Target2!)
This is our way, and that is why we have developed a strong program here in the country. But the common ground, the solidarity, the common growth in Europe are important for a strong Germany and a strong Europe.
Thank you very much.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.