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"We throw the money out of the window"

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 | World News

The Minister of Defense calls it a "promise" to Nato, the Foreign Minister speaks of a "crazy idea". The demand for a drastic increase in military expenditures becomes an integral feature of the union in the election campaign.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) is strongly opposed to the opposition of the SPD and opposition for a drastic increase in German military spending. In an interview with the Funke media group, she clearly agreed with the NATO target to increase the investment in defense by 2024 from currently 1.26 to 2 percent of the gross domestic product. "I do not know a European neighbor who expects anything else but that Germany keeps his promise."

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called this a "quite crazy idea" during an election campaign in Baden-Württemberg. Europe accounts for about half of the United States' defense spending, but only 15 percent of its efficiency, according to the SPD politician. Therefore, a massive increase in military spending was not necessary. "We throw the money out of the window," criticized the vice-chancellor – and pleaded for higher educational expenses.

  Leftists and Greens also advocate disarmament
Also left-head Bernd Riexinger said, with higher military issues the wrong priorities were set. "The world will not be safer through more weapons," he said. "In a world that gets out of line, you have to disarm and make a meaningful peace policy." The Green politician Tobias Lindner called the statements of the Leyens "gross mischief".

In 2014, the NATO member states committed themselves to moving to the two-percent target within a decade at their summit in Wales. The US currently provides 3.6 of its gross domestic product for the military. However, most European Alliance partners remain below two percent.

 The SPD assumes that in 2024 Germany would have to spend about 70 billion euros to reach the two percent target. At present, the defense expenditure is 37 billion euros. Nobody could want Germany to be by far the largest military power in Europe, the Social Democrats argue.

Defense Minister does not want to lose the confidence of the Bundeswehr
Leyen, on the other hand, accuses the SPD of jeopardizing the employability of the Bundeswehr. "If the SPD now opposes the gradual expansion of the investment, it will adopt the modernization of the Bundeswehr and the trend for more personnel and material." The SPD, in its "totally messed up election campaign" blindly blind the confidence of the soldiers, as well as the friendly nations.

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