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Bavaria and Hesse want to pay other states less

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Bavaria and Hesse want to pay other states less
Photo: DPA
09:30 CET+01:00
New figures on how much Germany's 16 federal states give or receive from a fund meant to narrow fiscal gaps between them could encourage main contributors Bavaria and Hesse to mount a legal challenge, it emerged on Tuesday.

For the first time since Germany unified, information has been released about money going in and coming out of the so-called Länderfinanzausgleich, a pot which was set up for richer states to help poorer ones.

Since 1990, Bavaria, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, and Hamburg have paid in €128 billion to the fund. As did North Rhine-Westphalia until 2010, when it stopped due to financial woes, daily newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

Hesse, which has paid in €38.465 billion over the period, gives the most to the Länderfinanzausgleich. Bavaria gives around two billion less, and Baden-Württemberg three billion less. Hamburg has given €5.2 billion.

But the government making the exact amounts public has now, the paper said, has given Bavaria and Hesse the argument they have long been searching for to pay less money into the fund.

Both states have long claimed that some of the “poorer” states not paying into the fund now have more money per resident than they do, thanks in part to the Länderfinanzausgleich. They are expected to begin filing a legal complaint to the Constitutional Court against the mechanism by February.

With €45 billion from the fund under its belt, the city-state of Berlin has received the most. The eastern German state of Saxony came in second after getting €17 billion from the pot since 1990, and Saxony-Anhalt received €10 billion. The northern state of Schleswig-Holstein profited the least, having received €2.4 billion.

The Local/jcw

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