‘Good luck,’ Merkel wishes new Russian president

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wished Russia's new president Dmitry Medvedev "good luck" and said she expected to work closely with Vladimir Putin in his new role, according to comments published Thursday.

'Good luck,' Merkel wishes new Russian president
Merkel met with Medvedev in March. Photo: DPA

“I wish the new president Dmitry Medvedev all the best and good luck. I am looking forward to cooperating” with him, Merkel said in an interview with regional daily Passauer Neue Presse.

Medvedev was inaugurated as Russian president on Wednesday. Shortly after taking office, he named his former mentor and predecessor Putin as prime minister.

Merkel added that she expected to continue to work together with Putin, who on Thursday was expected to be confirmed as prime minister.

“We will also cooperate in his new role as prime minister,” Merkel said, adding she had a “very constructive and direct relationship” with him.

Although the two had not seen eye to eye on all issues, they had “always had open, honest and exciting discussions,” she said.

“I valued our cooperation. We are both aware of the great importance of our strategic partnership,” Merkel said.

Medvedev is expected to visit Berlin for the first time as president in June.



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.