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POLITICS

Luftwaffe lacking plans for move to new Berlin airport

The German military’s current airport home in Berlin may be closing, but the Luftwaffe still lacks concrete plans for a move to a new air hub currently under construction, daily newspaper Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday.

Luftwaffe lacking plans for move to new Berlin airport
A government Challenger jet. Photo: DPA

The German air force’s VIP squadron, used to fly politicians from one place to the other, will continue to headquarter its long-distance planes near the country’s former capital of Bonn, the newspaper reported.

The seven Airbus A-310 planes located near Bonn must travel to Berlin each time they are needed to escort government officials on a long-distance trip.

Helicopters and small Challenger jets used on shorter trips are now based at Berlin’s Tegel airport. The airport also has a reception area for official government guests.

Tegel is set to close once the city’s new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BBI) opens – scheduled in 2011.

The Tagesspiegel quoted a government spokesman as saying the air force intends to move to BBI but has reached no final decision.

The government wanted to leave its options open to see how the controversy over Berlin’s airports developed, the newspaper reported.

“Discussions are ongoing but have not finished yet,” Berlin Airports spokesman Ralf Kunkel told the Tagesspiegel.

A referendum aiming to keep open the city’s third airport, Tempelhof, failed last month.

POLITICS

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

Germany will reinstate its so-called debt brake in 2023 after suspending it for three years to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, sources in the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The government will borrow 17.2 billion euros ($18.1 million) next year, adhering to the rule enshrined in the constitution that normally limits

Germany’s public deficit to 0.35 percent of overall annual economic output, despite new spending as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the sources said.

The new borrowing set out in a draft budget to be presented to the cabinet on Friday is almost 10 billion euros higher than a previous figure for 2023 announced in April.

However, “despite a considerable increase in costs, the debt brake will be respected,” one of the sources said.

Although Germany is traditionally a frugal nation, the government broke its own debt rules at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and unleashed vast financial aid to steer the economy through the crisis.

READ ALSO: Debt-averse Germany to take on new borrowings to soften pandemic blow

The government has this year unveiled a multi-billion-euro support package to help companies in Europe’s biggest economy weather the fallout from the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia.

Berlin has also spent billions to diversify its energy supply to reduce its dependence on Russia, as well as investing heavily in plans to tackle climate change and push digital technology.

But despite the additional spending, Finance Minister Christian Lindner has maintained the aim to reinstate the debt brake in 2023.

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