The EU Needs More Money From Germany

That’s a shocker. Gee. I wonder why?

EU

It’s not like the arrogance and hubris of EU technocrats let the second biggest contributor to their budget walk away from their, well, generous redistribution system or anything. No, not at all. It’s… What is it, anyway? Is this still the Europe you want, Germany?

The U.K. was a strong proponent of free-trade, EU enlargement and pragmatic cooperation to tackle security threats. It opposed a “fortress Europe” approach, pushing for a competitive and open economy.

Britain also became in recent years the EU’s second-biggest net funder. EU officials say the U.K.’s departure will leave an estimated €84 billion ($93 billion) hole in the bloc’s next seven-year budget.

Agreeing on the size and makeup of that €1 trillion-plus budget will be the first major post-Brexit fight. Efforts to cut the amount of money spent on the EU’s newer members in Central and Eastern Europe risk further embittering the bloc’s east-west relations, already scarred by fights over migration and democratic norms.

Spend More Like We Do

Says the EU. We don’t always know what we’re spending it on but we sure know how to do it.

Waste

As “German industrial orders fell more than expected in August on weaker domestic demand, adding to signs that a manufacturing slump is pushing Europe’s largest economy into recession,” the EU Commission advises Germany to spend more.

And EU knows all about spending other people’s money. It spent nearly four billion euros last year alone on things it can’t even account for – and most of the things it can account for are wasteful enough.

Konjunkturschocks“ – EU-Kommission drängt Deutschland zu mehr Ausgaben

Bundeswehr Update: This One Doesn’t Fly, Either

The Bundeswehr doesn’t have any money, remember?

But the little it has it burns as fast as it can. Among numerous other spending scandals, this one went originally like: The German navy will continue operations with its Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft until 2035, with Berlin having signed a $158 million contract for modernisation work to be performed over the next five years.

Now the word is that the costs have run out of control. What would the Bundeswehr do without Miss Management herself (Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen)? She’s that good. Just like her buddy Angela Merkel, she’s too big to fail.

Es werde “kaum gelingen, alle Flugzeuge bis Ende 2025” flottzumachen, urteilt der Bundesrechnungshof.

German Of The Day: Milliardenloch

That means a billion-euro hole. You know, as in the ones that will be appearing in the coming German federal budgets?

Loch

The money has been rolling in to Berlin for years but it looks like those days are about to end. Germany’s current finance minister, Olaf Scholz (SPD), warns that the government will be missing some 25 billion euros by 2023. No new expenditures possible, folks. Not unless there are cuts somewhere else. Right. Good luck with that, pal. You’re with the SPD, for crying out loud (that stands for Spend other People’s Dough).

And it sure would be a shocker if Germany now used this as an excuse not to live up to its defense spending commitments, wouldn’t it? See how this works, folks?

Nach Jahren sprudelnder Steuereinnahmen droht dem Bund wegen der abflauenden Konjunktur ein 25-Milliarden-Loch im Haushalt bis 2023.

German Budget Surplus Offers German Politicians Further Ways Not To Spend It

The dramatic growth in Germany’s public sector surplus over the first half means the government has extra room for manoeuvre, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday after data was released showing the surplus at a record high.

Scholz

“I’ll be looking into as many ways as possible not to spend any of it,” he said. Or could have said. And this is social democrat, too. This savings mania is a German thang.

And saving money is generally a very sound idea, I understand that. But how about considering giving that surplus back to the people you took it from in the first place? I’m just saying.

Der FDP-Politiker Dürr verlangte angesichts der hohen Überschüsse, den Solidaritätszuschlag abzuschaffen. Auch der Bund der Steuerzahler forderte eine Entlastung der Bürger.

German Of The Day: Zusage

That means pledge – like the one Germany just made (increase in defense spending to 2% by 2024 instead of 2028 or 2030).

Zusage

President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America’s closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday’s meetings, “they upped their commitments and I am very happy…”  

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

Auch Deutschland habe große Zusagen gemacht – das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel solle nun wesentlich früher erreicht werden als ursprünglich geplant – laut Trump nicht erst 2028 oder 2030, sondern schon 2024.

German Of The Day: Geschröpft

That means fleeced. Or clobbered, if you prefer.

Trump

As in… We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on trade.

„Deutschland zahlt ein Prozent des Bruttoinlandsproduktes (langsam) in Richtung Nato, während wir vier Prozent von einer weit größeren Bruttoinlandsprodukt zahlen. Glaubt irgendjemand, dass das Sinn macht?“

What’s Wrong With The SPD?

First they roll out a foreign minister who talks tough to Russia and then they provide a finance minister who has trouble spending other people’s money.

Scholz

Damn. Maybe I could become a social democrat (bourgeois socialist), too.

Germany’s new Social Democrat finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is frustrating both key ally France and his own struggling center-left party by adopting the same fiscal rigor as his conservative predecessor, Wolfgang Schaeuble.

During his first two months as treasury chief of Europe’s largest economy, Scholz has committed to a continued goal of no new debt and limited public spending.

“We act pragmatically and properly – and do not worship a fetish (of fiscal conservatism).”

This Is Chump Change

With the emphasis on chump. What’s a mere 78 billion euros of migration-related spending through 2022 for Germany? Especially when everybody here knows that the amount will probably be three to five times higher?

Migration

It’s not like Germany needs this money to improve its rotten education system and schools, fix its backward digital infrastructure or spend more on defense, to name just a very few. No, German “leadership” knows where to set its priorities: To throw money helplessly at a crisis that she, I mean they, created.

Germany expects to spend around 78 billion euros on migration-related issues through 2022, including 31 billion euros to combat the root causes driving people to leave their homes and head to Europe, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday…

German is working to integrate over a million migrants who entered the country in 2015 and 2016 after a key decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that has hit her popularity.

PS: German of the day: “Frau am Steuer, das wird teuer.” There’s a woman behind the wheel, that’s going to cost you (only it rhymes).

4 Out Of 128 Ain’t Bad

It’s past bad. It’s hilarious.

Four

Only 4 of the Bundeswehr’s 128 Tornadoes are operational.

Maybe that’s why Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen wants 12 billion euros “more for the German army than current budget plans foresee.” That won’t do it even if she gets it, of course. And to get anywhere near the 2 percent of GDP spending Germany has committed itself to spend you’d need more along the lines of 30 to 40 billion euros. But who’s counting?

Nur 4 von 128 Eurofightern kampfbereit: „Im Ernstfall kann man nur beten.”