German coalition leaders to hold budget talks on Weds evening – sources

BERLIN (Reuters) – The leaders of the three parties that make up Germany’s governing coalition will meet on Wednesday evening to discuss the budget crisis, coalition sources told Reuters.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, the Greens, and the Free Democrats of Finance Minister Christian Lindner are far apart on fiscal and debt policy, and must now find a way to draw up a budget for next year after the Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional a source of funds on which they had planned to rely.

No decisions are expected to be taken at Wednesday’s coalition meeting, two sources said.

The government plans to suspend the constitutionally enshrined debt brake for this year but has not said whether it would do so again in 2024.

Scholz has insisted that Berlin’s continuing support for Ukraine will not be impacted by the crisis.

A government source told Reuters that a planned 8 billion euro boost to Germany’s military support for Kyiv would be anchored in the 2024 budget, which the government is hoping to pass by the end of January at the latest.

(Reporting Andreas Rinke and Alexander Ratz, Writing by Thomas Escritt and Rachel More, Editing by Madeline Chambers)