• Germany edition
 
Bavaria, Hesse challenge aid to poorer states
Photo: DPA

Bavaria, Hesse challenge aid to poorer states

Published: 05 Feb 2013 16:22 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Feb 2013 16:22 GMT+01:00

Bavaria and Hesse announced on Tuesday they would mount a constitutional challenge to Germany's federal system of financial transfers between poorer and richer states.

The long-awaited decision to actually take their case to the top court came after the premiers of the two states held consultations in the Hessian state capital Wiesbaden.

Volker Bouffier and Horst Seehofer, the conservative leaders of Hesse and Bavaria respectively, no longer want to prop up the weakest of Germany's 16 federal states via the fund designed to smooth out wealth disparities.

"The time for a lawsuit has come," said Bouffier, calling it an "act of political self-defence."

Currently three states, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Bavaria, pay billions of euros each year into the so-called Länderfinanzausgleich. The two leaders have complained the system penalizes richer states for their good economic performance, while poorer states profit from their hard work.

New figures released last month showed Hesse had paid over €38 billion into the pot since 1990, while Bavaria forked over some €36 billion, and Baden-Württemberg handed over €35 billion. The wealthy city-state of Hamburg ponied up €5.2 billion.

With €45 billion from the Länderfinanzausgleich since 1990, the dirt poor city-state of Berlin has received the most. The eastern German state of Saxony came in second after getting €17 billion from the pot, and Saxony-Anhalt received €10 billion. The northern state of Schleswig-Holstein profited the least, receiving €2.4 billion.

Seehofer on Tuesday said the scheme "lacked solidarity, was unfair, and stifled achievement."

"We in Bavaria have reached a pain threshold for Länderfinanzausgleich," he said.

But perhaps tellingly, the centre-left state government in Baden-Württemberg has refused to join the constitution challenge.

Critics have noted that both Bouffier and Seehofer face re-election this autumn, and that the court case could be a way to pander to the voters in their respective states.

And other states have pointed out that once-poor Bavaria received payments from the pot for decades.

"I really have no understanding for calling the current rules into question," said Stanislaw Tillich, the conservative premier of Saxony.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:40 February 5, 2013 by DoubleDTown
while they are at it, how about challenging the transfer of money from richer people to poorer people?

They do realize the point of a federal republic instead of many individual feudal states is the whole "out of many, one" concept?
18:06 February 5, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
Explains the German logic applied towards the European Union and the Euro. They only challenge when they have to pay into it but keep their mouths shut about all the benefits they derive from it.
21:44 February 5, 2013 by IchBinKönig
'but keep their mouths shut about all the benefits they derive from it. '

Yes, because Bavaria would NEVER try and secede due to the cheap wonderful benefits.
22:47 February 5, 2013 by pepsionice
When Belgium does finally split apart.....probably by 2014....the discussion of Bavaria exiting Germany will eventually come back around. It might take ten years, but we might want to settle back and watch how this all develops.
18:09 February 6, 2013 by Bigfoot76
"Critics have noted that both Bouffier and Seehofer face re-election this autumn, and that the court case could be a way to pander to the voters in their respective states."

Terrible. I have NEVER heard of a politician doing such a thing before. It is not like every single one of them do whatever they have to in order to sucker voters into choosing them.

Berlin, 45 million since 1990. Did they not just waste almost that much on an Airport that still has no plan, direction, expectation or idea when it will actually open or how over budget it will be? They do not even know what needs to be finished yet nor who will be in charge from one week to the next.

Then reciting another story in our beloved thelocal.de, Berliners want to criticize people from other states for practicing their customs in Berlin. If we are paying for your existence, I think we should be allowed to drink the type of beer we want, when we want and for the reason we want as long as it hurts no one and I absolutely will wear Lederhosen while doing it as well.

I sound mad huh? lol
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,051
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd