• Germany's news in English
 
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

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)

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
'50 Shades of Grey' to premiere in Berlin
The book comes to the screen Photo: DPA

'50 Shades of Grey' to premiere in Berlin

Smut sensation "50 Shades Of Grey" will receive its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, it was announced Monday. READ  

Man tries to open plane door over Munich
Photo: DPA

Man tries to open plane door over Munich

A man tried to open the emergency door of a plane as it was approaching Munich airport, police reported on Monday. READ  

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'
Last week's Pegida protest in Dresden, which drew a crowd of 15,000 Photo: DPA

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'

An undercover reporter who allowed himself to be interviewed by a rival TV network whilst taking part in an anti-Islamization demonstration in Dresden has been sacked, Spiegel reported Monday. READ  

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister
A Yazidi woman at a Hannover demonstration against Isis in August.

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister

The government plans to set up a trauma centre for victims of a mass rape campaign by the Islamic State (Isis) militant group, Overseas Development minister Gerd Müller said on Monday. READ  

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts
World Cup-winning manager Joachim Löw accepts the award at a gala in Baden Baden on Sunday Photo. DPA

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts

Football fans have snapped up a total of more than three million replica kits of their world-cup winning heroes, Adidas announced, with much of that boost coming in the run-up to Christmas. The team were also honoured as Germany's "Sportsmen of the Year" on Sunday. READ  

Good news for your Christmas overdraft
Photo: DPA

Good news for your Christmas overdraft

Shoppers who go into the red on their bank account over the Yuletide period have received some early festive good news, with a plan to clarify Germany's complex rules on overdrafts. READ  

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive
Striking Amazon workers outside a distribution centre in Leipzig on December 8th. Photo: DPA

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive

Online retailer Amazon said on Monday that walkouts at distribution centres across the country wouldn't affect Christmas orders as the strike spread across Europe. READ  

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store
The aftermath of the raid at Berlin's luxury department store Photo: DPA

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store

Stunned shoppers looked on in horror as masked robbers made a daylight raid at Germany's most exclusive department store on the busiest shopping day before Christmas. READ  

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport
Security checks at Frankfurt airport in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport

Weapons and dangerous objects were successfully smuggled through security checks 50 percent of the time at Frankfurt airport, in a probe by European Commission inspectors, it emerged on Sunday. READ  

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life
Kibaya before her fatal fall Photo: DPA

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life

One of Berlin Zoo’s most popular attractions has had to be put down, after tearing a muscle in her leg. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,130
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd