German parliament approves $107.3B fund to modernize military

Scholz’s coalition government is planning to purchase F-35 fighter jets, Chinook CH-47F transport helicopters, and armed drones.

German parliament approves $107.3B fund to modernize military

Germany’s lower house of parliament approved on Friday government’s plan to set up a €100 billion ($107.3 billion) “special fund” to modernize the country’s armed forces.

The Bundestag first voted on a constitutional change to exempt the government’s special fund from rules that limit new debt.

Some 567 lawmakers – mostly from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s left-liberal coalition government – voted in favor of the change, while 96 voted against it. Twenty lawmakers abstained.

The main opposition Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) backed the government’s plan.

In another vote on Friday afternoon, German lawmakers approved a draft law, which included the government’s borrowing plans, and also detailed planned military investments and procurements.

Some 593 lawmakers voted in favor of the proposed legislation, while 80 lawmakers voted against the draft, and seven abstained.

The German government’s planned “special fund” still requires an approval by the parliament’s upper house, Bundesrat, but its decision looks assured as the chancellor secured the backing of the main opposition Christian Democrats.

According to the government’s plan, the lion’s share of the special fund will go to the Air Force and will be used for new investments and purchases, including US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets, Chinook transport helicopters and Israeli Heron drones.

Hüseyin Demir