Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck sees progress in the difficult negotiations in the coalition over the 2024 budget. “I am very optimistic that we are well on the way to reaching an agreement,” said the Green politician on the ARD program “Anne Will”.

When asked that this did not mean that he was sure that the coalition would come to an agreement, Habeck said: “I can’t speak for everyone. But I repeat that I believe that we are making good progress.” The Vice Chancellor continued: “It is a process that is arduous, that is clear, but which brings progress.”

According to a budget ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, the coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP has to plug billions in holes in the budget. The negotiations are currently taking place primarily in a three-way round with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). If the 2024 budget is to be passed in the Bundestag this year, a solution must be found in the coming days.

step by step

Habeck said they were “progressing step by step” and trying to compensate for funds. This would only be possible if “unreasonable demands” were endured in other places. However, the minister did not want to be specific. With a view to the public debate about savings in social spending or possible tax increases, Habeck said that anything that was publicly demanded had a great chance of not happening.

In the discussions that the coalition is conducting, an attempt is being made to identify in the “depth” of budget tables or the climate and transformation fund what might come later, what might no longer be wanted or could be done. However, Habeck emphasized that social balance in Germany and social stability should not be further jeopardized. He also cited the “robustness of industrial production.”