Germany’s Merkel sweeps aside idea of running up new debt

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. The reflections are caused by a metallic handrail at the press tribune. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel has vehemently rejected calls for Germany to run up new debt to finance investment in climate protection and other things.

After years of balanced budgets, left-leaning opposition politicians have called for the government to borrow more to finance investment in climate protection and social spending.

But Merkel has been adamant about sticking to a policy of no new borrowing. She told parliament Wednesday: “It surprises me that there is such disparaging talk in this house about a balanced budget.”

Merkel insisted Germany is investing more than ever and said that “a decent budget means investment as part of a balanced budget — anything else is absurd.”

In a tweet, Merkel’s center-right party said: “Yes, we admit it, we have a little fetish: solid finances without new debt.”