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Merkel’s allies propose increase in defence spending
December 30, 2017
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BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party (CSU) has proposed increasing Germany’s defense spending to a level that widens a policy gap with the Social Democrats (SPD) ahead of talks on forming a governing coalition.

A deal between Merkel’s conservative camp and the centre-left (SPD) is her best chance of securing a fourth term in office but her possible coalition partners are angling for concessions before talks start in the new year.

The CSU said in a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Friday it wanted defence spending to reach Nato’s target of 2 per cent of national output and more money spent on the military, drones and transportation infrastructure.

“Getting the best possible equipment, training and care for the soldiers as well as strengthening and modernising the army costs money,” read the draft, which urged an increase in the defense budget to achieve these goals.

But more defence spending demanded by the CSU on Merkel’s right flank could make a deal with the SPD on her left harder.

The SPD has rejected NATO’s defense spending target and accused Merkel and her conservatives of kowtowing to the demands of US President Donald Trump.

Reuters

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