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Germany aims for balanced budget to prepare for downturn

September 10, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s finance minister is proposing a balanced budget for the coming year, withstanding calls for fresh borrowing in preparation for a possible economic downturn.

Olaf Scholz told lawmakers Tuesday it was important that “with the solid financial basis we have today we can push back with many, many billions (of euros) if an economic crisis breaks out in Germany and Europe.”

Opposition lawmakers and some among Scholz’s own center-left Social Democrats have called for Germany to spend more at a time when the cost of government borrowing is extremely low.

But recent indications of economic cooling have sparked concern that high tax revenues seen over the past years may decline sharply.

Scholz insisted that the proposed budget would include “many investments” to tackle climate change and social inequality.

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