« We will soon have NATO’s biggest conventional army in Europe » (Chancellor Scholz)
In a show of national unity, in early June and by a very large majority, German MPs voted to provide 100 billion euros for the army.
On June 3, the Bundestag (Parliament) voted to amend the Fundamental Law (which serves as the Constitution) to allow for the creation of a « special fund for the Bundeswehr », the German army. This special fund, worth 100 billion euros, was then adopted.
The amendment of the Fundamental Law required a two-thirds majority. In a « sacred union », the parties in government all voted in favour – the Social Democratic Party SPD (minus eight votes against), the Greens, the liberal FDP – as well as the main party of the bourgeoisie, the CDU-CSU. In the vote for the special fund, these same parties voted in favour, as did a large part of the fascist far right AfD. The party Die Linke voted against it en bloc. Against all democracy, the amendment of the Fundamental Law was made without any discussion in the trade unions, parties, etc.
On the same day, the federal budget was passed. The military budget for the year alone amounts to 50.4 billion euros. As for the special fund, it was explicitly excluded from the « golden rule » of indebtedness, but, like the other debts, it will have to be paid for by the working class through the destruction of public services, education, healthcare, pensions, etc. In accordance with the objectives set by NATO (to devote 2% of GDP to armaments), the real military budget spread over five years is thus increased to more than 70 billion euros per year. And in the event that the special fund is fully « consumed », the law provides that « the federal budget will continue to provide the necessary financial means to (…) finance the German contribution to the NATO objectives in force at that time ».
Thus, a regime of ever-increasing war budgets was established, for which the rules of « limiting debt » did not apply. This increase leads to unprecedented cuts in all other budgets (public services, etc.) down to the level of the municipalities.
For German imperialism, it is a question of becoming, according to Social Democrat Chancellor Scholz, « the largest conventional army in Europe » in NATO, just behind that of US imperialism, and playing the central role in Europe. No doubt this will provoke massive resistance from the working class. For the Scholz government is violating the oath of the German people after 1945: « No more war ever, no more fascism ever ». And its decision to increase the war budget directly threatens the working class and the gains it has made since 1945. We must fight these attacks with a united struggle against war and exploitation.
H. W. Schuster
The European Union wants to « spend more » on war
« We do not have the military capabilities to guarantee our own security or to be an effective partner in NATO. We have to spend more, and we have to do it together. » (Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, in the French daily Le Monde, June 8).