“It will clearly be over €50 billion,” Steinbrück, a Social Democrat, said, “This year is extreme. We're experiencing the biggest economic slump in the history of the Federal Republic.”
Steinbrück said Germany's national debt is rising due to the costs of bailing out German banks and stimulus packages designed to boost the economy. Germany has been criticized by the United States for not spending enough on its stimulus package.
Despite the soaring national debt and weak economic outlook, Steinbrück supports higher salaries for politicians - including himself.
“Politicians don't earn much, actually too little,” Steinbrück said, “For example, I make about €9,000 gross a month. For most people, that's a lot of money. But in relation to people in business or lawyers, it's not very much.”