Austerity is the wrong choice – German Finance Minister

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz attends a news conference following talks with state leaders to discuss anti-coronavirus measures at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany

The German parliament must decide in coming days how to finance continuing measures to soften the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said when asked if the so-called debt brake must be suspended next year.

The Social Democrat, who is his party’s candidate to succeed conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel in a national election this year, was asked if the totemic constitutional borrowing ceiling should be suspended for a third year in a row.

“In coming days we will have to decide very concretely on how we deal with the new challenges,” he told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Thursday. “We are very glad to have a good healthcare system. It would be crazy to cut that.

“And it would be economically wrong to adopt austerity politics and cut investment. So the question is how do we mobilise the funds that we need to have a good growth path and promote social cohesion,” he added.

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