On Sunday, the government in Germany and the conservative opposition reached an agreement to break the budgetary regulations of the national constitution to allow for the release of 100 billion euros to modernize Germany's army in the face the Russian threat. After several weeks of difficult negotiations between the coalition parties - social democrats and ecologists - and the conservative political family led by Angela Merkel, representatives from these movements indicated that a compromise was reached in this direction.
This agreement fulfills the promise Olaf Scholz made at the February end, after the Russian One Ukraine offensive. He promised to create a special fund of 100 million euros to rebuild the country and to modernize the Bundeswehr. Berlin will also be able achieve NATO's goal of dedicating 2% of its national GDP annually to defense. According to the agreement's text, this goal will be reached "on average over many years".
Additional debt will finance the exceptional fund. It was necessary to bypass the "debt brake" rules in the national constitution that limit the possibility of a budget deficit. The government required the support of the main opposition force the conservative CDU/CSU because it requires a two-thirds majority at Parliament to pass this exception.
The 100 billion dollars will be paid into an "special fund", which is not part of the national budget. These negotiations were difficult. The negotiations were difficult not only over the question of how to use the money but also about the policy toward Ukraine. This is an issue where the government and opposition have been fighting for several weeks.
Conservatives specifically criticize the Social Democratic Chancellor for his timidity in supporting Kyiv against Russia's arms deliveries. Germany's decision to release 100 billion euros for its national army is a significant reversal. Germany has struggled in recent years to meet the Atlantic Alliance's commitments in this area and regularly draws wrath from the United States.
Since the end of Cold War, Germany has seen a significant reduction in its army size, which was around 500,000 when the country was reunified in 90 to around 200,000 today. Military officials frequently complain about the breakdown of their warships, tanks, and fighter planes. The invasion of Ukraine was an electric shock to a country that has been devoted to pacifism ever since the Nazis' horrors.