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Special means for the Bundeswehr: Merz threatens rejection

Status: 24.04.2022 01:39

CDU chairman Merz has threatened to reject the federal government’s planned special fund for the Bundeswehr. Chancellor Scholz had to speak to the opposition, demanded – and set out a number of conditions for approval.

CDU President Friedrich Merz has threatened not to approve a planned € 100 billion special fund for the Bundeswehr. The results will not be presented to the Union, “which we should then simply agree to,” said Merz of the “Bild am Sonntag”. “If the Chancellor wants to persuade us to change the Basic Law and introduce a new debt of 100 billion euros, he must talk to us.”

Merz requires a repayment schedule

Merz asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz that “100 billion euros” would only benefit the modernization of the Bundeswehr. ” In addition, at least two percent of gross domestic product needs to be spent on defense in the long run. “If these requirements are met and a new debt repayment plan is submitted, then we can agree,” Merz said.

As the newspaper further states, the Chancellor’s proposal is currently causing difficulties: a special fund of the Bundeswehr could be submitted to parliament for a vote without an attached economic plan. According to the letter, the Union feels limited in its right to comment on individual weapons projects. Criticism of such an approach also comes from many government parties.

Scholz’s critique course

In the debate on arms supplies to Ukraine, Merz sharply criticized Chancellor Scholz. He throws “one smoke candle after another.” Merz said. “He covers up, he doesn’t say, he only tells half the truth.” Germany is therefore increasingly isolated internationally.

Merz warned that the war would escalate unless Ukraine received sufficient military support: “Precisely because of the refusal to use heavy weapons, the escalation and expansion of this war is increasingly likely,” said the head of the CDU. “The last few years have shown that Putin will continue if he doesn’t stop.”

“Foreign and security policy in ruins”

Merz also acknowledged the Union’s serious omissions in handling the Bundeswehr and called for a review of German foreign and security policy over the past two decades. “Unfortunately, we have to say retrospectively that all the defense ministers have made bad decisions over the last 20 years about the equipment and condition of the soldiers,” he said. “It was a serious omission within the Union as well.”

With regard to Russia’s war on aggression against Ukraine, he said: “The entire German foreign and security policy of the last 20 years is in ruins. When this war is over, we must carefully analyze how it happened.” From the perspective of the CDU leader, by 2014, after the occupation of Crimea, “Russia would need massive sanctions and isolation.”

Probably the decision for Boeing transport helicopters

The “Bild am Sonntag” also states that the federal government has chosen the “Chinook” CH-47F from Boeing as the new transport helicopter. The Ministry of Defense wants to buy 60 machines, the letter said, referring to government circles. The estimated cost is around five billion euros, which should be financed from a 100 billion package for the Bundeswehr. This means that the Sikorsky CH-53K was left behind.

The new helicopters could be delivered in 2025/2026 at the earliest. Airbus should take over maintenance, the report said. A Defense Department spokeswoman told Reuters that no decision had been taken. The Bundeswehr has so far flown an older version of the CH-53, which is to be phased out by 2030 at the latest. Originally, the Bundeswehr wanted to replace the machines used, inter alia, in Afghanistan with new developments. However, these plans were abandoned due to high costs.