German Court Bans Gov't From Using $60Bln COVID-19 Loans to Fight Climate Change - Reports
BERLIN (Sputnik) - The German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled illegal the redistribution of unclaimed coronavirus loans worth 60 billion euros ($65 billion) to the climate protection fund, Germany's Die Welt newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The court's decision is based on the current so-called "debt brake" rule, which does not allow for an excessive increase in the state's debt budget. The coronovirus credit funds were exceptionally accumulated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, but they were never used, the newspaper wrote.
The trial was initiated by lawmakers of the opposition bloc of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU). German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck was cited as saying, shortly before the court's decision was announced, that canceling the budget would hit Germany hard in terms of economic policy.
The government plans to put 211 billion euros in the climate protection and climate transformation fund for the development of hydrogen and semiconductor technologies, the insulation of buildings to save energy and the decarbonization of industries, the newspaper added.
Berlin intends to spend 58 billion euros from the fund as early as in 2024, as well as 54 billion euros from the state budget for laying fiber-optic lines and modernizing rail and road infrastructure.
5 January, 12:03 GMT