Last month Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble spoke with Handelsblatt editor in chief Gabor Steingart at the publication’s Deutschland Dinner in Berlin. The audience also submitted questions, but not all were answered by the end of the evening. Mr. Schäuble promised his ministry would respond – and here are his answers.
When will investments be made in German infrastructure, hospitals, schools and public services? The government’s coffers are brimming.
In recent years, we have significantly expanded investments in the federal budget, including a €10 billion package for added spending in transportation infrastructure, broadband expansion, urban development and energy transition from 2016 to 2018. Financially weak municipalities are getting €3.5 billion for new investments through a special fund.
We don’t primarily have a financial problem, but instead with planning and authorization. Local agencies access additional financial resources quite slowly, because their capacities for planning new investments are insufficient. It is here, above all, that improvements must be made.