Here’s a new German word for you: Länderfinanzausgleich. In a nutshell, this means that wealthy German states like Bavaria and Hesse (so-called donor states) are obligated to subsidize poor but sometimes sexy German states like Berlin and Bremen (so-called recipient states) because, well, hell if I know why.
This is also known as “inter-state fiscal adjustment” here. You know, good old fashioned Umverteilung (redistribution of somebody else’s money) or subsidies, if you prefer.
Anyways, Bavaria and Hesse, for one (or two), are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it (or give it) anymore and are bringing an action before the German Verfassungsgericht (Supreme Court) claiming that this type of thing is constitutionally imbalanced and needs to be done away with – at least when it comes to Berlin because the Berlin city/state government consists of a worthless bunch of lazy and wasteful bums who are completely out of control when it comes to spending and would never think of stopping their spending if they aren’t forced to, which is, well, a pretty accurate analysis of the situation here.
This will probably go nowhere, however, because Germans are big fans of something they like to call Solidarität (no English equivalent that I can find other than maybe “supporting lazy and wasteful and sometimes sexy bums”).
“Das Gesamtsystem leidet unter einer zu weitgehenden Nivellierung der Länderfinanzkraft, die den politisch Verantwortlichen eines Landes das Eigeninteresse nimmt, Maßnahmen zur Stärkung der originären Steuerkraft zu ergreifen.”
Funny… they don’t seem to feel very finanzausgleich about the rest of the EU…