- It is clear that the German Federal Government assesses the implications of the Federal Constitutional Court ruling on the Climate Fund as more serious than previously assumed.
- According to information from Reuters news agency and the Spiegel news magazine, the Ministry of Finance on Monday extended the budget freeze imposed on the Climate and Transition Fund (KTF) to include almost the entire federal budget.
- This is evident in a letter from State Budget Secretary Werner Gaetzer, which was made available to Reuters and Spiegel.
It was not possible to obtain a comment from the responsible German Finance Ministry. “In order to avoid further pre-existing burdens for future fiscal years, I intend to block, with immediate effect, all compliance mandates identified in Individual Plans 04-17 and 23-60 of the 2023 federal budget, which remain available,” Gatzer’s letter was quoted as saying. .
Gatzer therefore refers to Article 41 of the Federal Budget Law, which regulates the budget freeze. The individual budgets of all ministries are affected by the mentioned individual plans. The 60th individual plan includes a climate and transition fund and a defense umbrella worth 200 billion euros to limit energy prices. According to the list, constitutional bodies such as the Federal President, the Bundestag, the Bundesrat, and the Federal Constitutional Court are excluded.
“A review of the general situation is necessary.”
The Federal Constitutional Court annulled 60 billion euros from the federal government on Wednesday because the transfer of unused coronavirus loans to the Climate Fund was unconstitutional. The government is now short of money. There are also additional clarifications from the Court on the debt brake in the Basic Law and the legality of loans, which could also have consequences for the current 2023 budget and the planned 2024 budget.
On the day the ruling was announced, FDP Finance Minister Christian Lindner ordered only the climate fund budget to be frozen. As a result of this ruling, there is “a need to review the overall financial position of the federal budget,” Gatzer wrote.
After the budget freeze, he could only raise the possibility of releasing commitment mandates “requested by ministries” in individual cases, especially in the event of an undeniable need in terms of reality and time. “A particularly stringent standard is applied to demonstrate such a need,” says Gatzer.
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