« Germany Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that budget cuts had impacted her own plans but were needed due to ‘war raging in Europe’ – while one AfD member caused outrage for mentioning Adolf Hitler – as the parliament continued its budget debate for 2024 in the Bundestag on Wednesday.
« I don’t think I need to hide the fact that in this situation, with war raging in Europe, the cuts in my individual plan for the budget of the Foreign Office hurt me too, » Baerbock said.
However, she added that ‘we will continue our support to Ukraine for as long as the people of Ukraine need it’ with weapons for ‘self-defence’. While Kiev has welcomed ongoing arms deliveries, Moscow has condemned them for escalating the conflict.
« We are in the midst of the greatest foreign and security policy upheaval since the end of the Cold War, » she added. « We didn’t choose this, but we can decide how we react to it every day, » Baerbock continued.
Stefan Keuter, AfD member claimed the plans had left the country ‘defenceless and dependent’.
« Angela Merkel, zu Guttenberg, Steinmeier, Gabriel, Schwesig and many others from their ranks have driven this country into dependencies and run it down for over 16 and more than 16 years. Apart from a Bohemian private [Adolf Hitler]nobody has ever brought so much misfortune on Germany as this former Chancellor, » he added.
However his comparison was condemned by others.
« What is not acceptable are personal insults and what is also not acceptable is to equate political people from this country with those who had power under National Socialism, » said Katrin Goering-Eckardt, Bundestag vice president..
« I work in the opposition against her [Angela Merkel] for 16 years, » added Juergen Trittin from the Green Party. « A comparison with the greatest war criminal of all time, who is responsible for the murder of six million Jews and who is responsible for the death of 60 million people … what you did here and that is unacceptable. »
Meanwhile, Johann David Wadephul, member from the CDU / CSU, said that he was ‘very disillusioned’ with the budget.
« They are unimaginative in many areas, lack a concept and are left empty-handed. That even applies to flagship projects, such as the feminist foreign policy that they formulate, which they claim to be their own, but which unfortunately are just fine words when it comes to the situation of women in Iran, for example, » he said.
The proposed budget for next year, around 445 billion euros, amounts to around 30 billion euros less than this year. However it remains around 90 billion higher than the last budget before COVID-19, in 2019. »