On November 15, 2023, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Finance Minister Christian Lindner, and Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck appeared at a hearing at Germany’s lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin. The government has stopped spending from the economic stabilisation fund for the year after a constitutional court ruling last week, according to a source close to the finance ministry.
The ruling prohibited the transfer of 60 billion euros in unused funds from the pandemic to green projects. The government is urgently working on a response to the court ruling. Werner Gatzer, state secretary at the finance ministry, stated in a letter on Tuesday that credit authorisations for the economic stabilisation fund can no longer be used in 2023 under the current legal situation. All spending that has not been used in 2023 is now blocked and requires the consent of the finance ministry.
The budget committee had previously been able to give approval for such spending. Payments related to the energy price brake for this year are not affected. The economic stabilisation fund, created in 2020 to support companies during the pandemic, has since focused on the energy crisis. Handelsblatt business daily was the first to report on the decision to block spending from the ESF on this year.
The government is working to address the implications of