• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Bavaria, Hesse challenge aid to poorer states

The Local · 5 Feb 2013, 16:22

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

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.

Story continues below…

"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)

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
President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,566
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd