Journal list

Huge German military fund clears final parliamentary hurdle – The Journal

A 100 billion euro ($107 billion) fund to bolster Germany’s military cleared its final legislative hurdle, winning the approval of the upper house of parliament

BERLIN (AP) — A 100 billion euro ($107 billion) fund to bolster Germany’s military cleared its final legislative hurdle on Friday, winning approval from the upper house of parliament.

The decision paves the way for the government to move forward with a massive procurement campaign announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The upper house of parliament, which represents Germany’s 16 state governments, approved the plan a week after the lower house gave its blessing. Scholz’s governing coalition held lengthy negotiations with the main opposition bloc Union to secure broad support ahead of the votes.

Scholz announced the fund on February 27, three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and said Germany would now spend more than 2% of its gross domestic product on defense – a target of the NATO on which it has long fallen behind. The government and the opposition agreed that defense spending would reach the 2% target “on a multi-year average”, with the help of the special fund.

Officials acknowledge that the German army, the Bundeswehr, has suffered for years from neglect and in particular from aging and poorly functioning equipment.

Among other things on the shopping list, the Department of Defense says it will purchase 60 CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters, manufactured by Boeing. The government also wants to purchase up to 35 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets to replace aging Tornado jets.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine