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Germany’s Social Democrats call for debt brake reform at party conference | SaltWire

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BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) agreed on Friday the need for a reform in the medium term of the country’s self-imposed borrowing limits to give the state more room for manoeuvre, in particular to invest.

SPD leaders Saskia Esken and Lars Klingbeil also made clear in their speeches at the SPD party conference that they wanted a suspension of the so-called debt brake again in 2024 to solve the immediate budget crisis.

Germany’s coalition parties are haggling over how to fill a 17 billion euro gap in the 2024 budget after the country’s top court threw out the government’s previous plan.

There is no agreement on whether the constitutionally-enshrined debt brake should be suspended for a fifth year, or if there should be spending cuts or tax increases.

The SPD’s youth wing went further than the broader party on Friday, calling for an end to the debt brake. Youth wing leader Philipp Tuermer called for “an end to the vote of distrust in politics that has been inscribed into the constitution”.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Sarah Marsh; editing by David Evans)

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