In view of the tense flood situation in Germany, the SPD is considering suspending the debt brake. “The full extent of the flood damage cannot yet be foreseen, but for exactly such cases we have the option of suspending the debt brake, which is in the Basic Law,” said Dennis Rohde, budget policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, to the star. “We will now examine carefully whether we can achieve this financial dimension.”

SPD chief budget officer Rohde, whose constituency of Oldenburg-Ammerland is in the flood zone, emphasized the federal government’s special responsibility. “It was true for the people in the Ahr Valley a few years ago and it still applies today: the people in the affected regions can rely on the federal government!” said Rohde.

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There are currently no signs of relief in the flood areas in several federal states. The German Weather Service (DWD) warned of continuous rain in parts of Germany, which is expected to last until Thursday night. This could worsen the situation in the regions. Both Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (both SPD) visited Lower Saxony, which was particularly affected by the floods, and assured the support of the federal government.

The traffic light coalition is currently considering suspending the debt brake for further aid payments to deal with the Ahr Valley flood disaster in 2021. The government will approach the Union as the largest opposition faction and seek their support for this step, said Chancellor Scholz in December. At the time, Scholz emphasized that the Basic Law expressly stipulates that the loan limits can be raised to deal with natural disasters and extraordinary emergency situations. Citizens should “also be able to rely on the promises made,” he said. The Ahrtal aid is worth 2.7 billion euros for 2024.

After the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court, which overturned the traffic light coalition’s budget plans, the government wants to comply with the debt brake again this year and implement the judge’s ruling from Karlsruhe through cuts and savings. SPD budget politician Rohde emphasized that the ruling “did not change anything” about the fundamental possibility of suspending the debt brake.

Rohde agrees with SPD co-party leader Lars Klingbeil’s call for disaster protection to be “massively” strengthened. But that is a task for the federal and state governments alike, he said. “Here we will have to find a solution together that will not be based on party lines, but on what is necessary for our country.”