German Social Democrats refuse to spend two percent GDP on defence

  • Tomáš Krajňák
  • 11.8.2017 09:23

On 6 August, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) rejected NATO's target of spending two percent of the country's GDP on defence. Their leader Martin Schulz and head of the party in the Parliament Thomas Oppermann expressed the concern in an essay for the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain, where they also accused Christian Democrats and their leader Angela Merkel of kowtowing to the demands of US President Donald Trump.

According to the SPD leaders, Germany would have to nearly double current defense spending from the current 37 billion euros, which would make it the largest military power in Europe - a goal they said "no one could want" given Germany's Nazi history. Instead, they call for a strong European defense union and a European army. However, Merkel insists that Germany is committed to reach the two percent target and pointed out that it was SPD who signed off on the NATO commitment many years ago. The sensitive topic can play an important role in the election next month. Merkel's conservatives have about 40 % support in the polls, while SPD is at 23 %. Schulz already admitted that he would like to remain the head of the Social Democrats, even if the party is defeated.

About author: Tomáš Krajňák

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