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FDP calls for 'halt' to social welfare reforms in Germany

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FDP calls for 'halt' to social welfare reforms in Germany
FDP chief whip Johannes Vogel. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Germany's government must call a halt to social reforms if the country is to remain competitive, the liberal Free Democratic Party's chief whip Johannes Vogel said on Friday.

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In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Vogel called on the government to impose what he called an "expansion stop". 

Vogel said the FDP was concerned about the country's competitiveness, noting that the planned basic child allowance would require the government to provide approximately €2.4 billion in additional funding from 2025 onwards.  

READ ALSO: Germany eyes higher financial support for low-income families

Vogel also defended the FDP parliamentary leader Christian Dürr's proposal to halt the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, emphasising that the aim was to reduce high electricity prices. 

A debt-financed industrial electricity supply, as proposed by the SPD parliamentary group and the Greens, did not make sense, he said.

Vogel added that Germany need to increase its electricity supply, primarily through the expansion of renewable energies.

Given that the Minister of Economic Affairs had not presented viable alternatives, Vogel said the decommissioning of nuclear power plants should be halted.

The FDP is a junior partner in Germany's three-party coalition government having secured 11.5 percent of the vote in the 2021 general election. The two other governing parties scored 25.7 percent (Social Democrats - SPD) and 14.8 percent (Greens). 

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Four FDP ministers serve in the government led by SPD Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Party leader Christian Lindner is Germany's current finance minster, while the party is also represented in the cabinet by Marco Buschmann (Justice Minister), Volker Wissing (Digital and Transport Minister) and Bettina Stark-Watzinger (Education and Research Minister).

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