Shortly before crucial negotiations on the 2024 budget, traffic light opponents in the FDP party leader Christian Lindner are warning against giving in to Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the debt brake debate. “Complying with the debt brake for the 2024 budget is not negotiable. Falling over as an FDP would be unforgivable,” said the initiator of the member survey in the FPD, Matthias Nölke, to the star.

Nölke called on party leader Lindner to leave the coalition if necessary. “If the quixotic decisions of the SPD party conference lead to a break in this unspeakable traffic light coalition because the FDP does not give in, this would certainly be honored by our voters.” The background to Nölke’s intervention are statements made by Olaf Scholz at the SPD party conference in Berlin. During his appearance, the Chancellor rejected any cuts to the welfare state. At the same time, leading Social Democrats had called for the debt brake to be suspended again in 2024.

This brings the budget debate to a head on the question of whether the FDP is prepared to declare a budget emergency in the Bundestag in order to plug the budget hole. Lindner had previously rejected an exception to the debt brake but had not completely ruled it out. The Social Democrats are pushing for the exception to be made, citing the consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

On Sunday, Scholz, Lindner and Green Party Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck will meet for the next round of negotiations in the Chancellery. According to stern information, the SPD leadership expects the talks to be concluded next week and finally discussed by a coalition committee.