After meeting in the chancellery: no agreement on the fiscal pact in sight

After unsuccessful talks in the Chancellery on the ratification of the fiscal pact, an agreement between the government and the opposition is apparently again a long way off. The government is facing tough demands on two fronts. The opposition continues to demand a binding timetable for the introduction of a financial transaction tax. And the federal states insist that they be relieved of social spending.

A conversation between the parliamentary group leaders and the minister of the Chancellery, Ronald Pofalla, neither brought an agreement nor did consultations by Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. The government and opposition then blamed each other for the standstill.

Further meetings required

"The behavior of the SPD and the Greens shows that they apparently no longer want an agreement this week," said CDU budget politician Norbert Barthle after the talks with Pofalla. "An agreement will probably no longer be possible at the top meeting with the Chancellor on Wednesday, but probably only next week at further meetings."

SPD parliamentary group leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in the joint morning magazine of ARD and ZDF that an agreement was possible before the summer break. The prerequisite is that both sides can quickly find each other with a binding roadmap for the introduction of the financial transaction tax and additional growth elements.

The chancellor continues to talk

It is therefore unlikely that an agreement will be reached before the top talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel with the party and parliamentary group leaders (Wednesday) and the prime minister (Thursday). The aim of the negotiations is to achieve the broadest possible majority for the ratification of the European fiscal pact and the permanent euro rescue package (ESM) in June.

A two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat is necessary for the fiscal pact. The Greens also set conditions for this. They insist on the government’s commitment to a banking union and insist on an old debt repayment fund. To this end, there will be another round in the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the evening, at which the topic of youth unemployment in Europe is also on the program.

The government wants to present a key points paper during the conversation on Wednesday. However, the FDP parliamentary group vice-president Volker Wissing reiterated his party’s skepticism towards a stock exchange tax. It is true that the FDP stands by the coalition’s commitment to the commitment to campaign for a financial transaction tax. However, the tax should not lead to the relocation of financial transactions abroad. Wissing rejected calls for an old debt repayment fund in the euro zone.

The background to the dispute over the European fiscal pact are reports of ongoing reservations in the coalition against the financial transaction tax and the statement by Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble that he no longer expects its introduction for this legislative period. Since a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat is required for the fiscal pact, the Union and FDP are dependent on the support of the opposition.

The talks between Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and his country colleagues about the Federal Council’s approval of the fiscal pact also ended without results. In return for their approval of ratification, some states insist that the federal government relieve them of social spending, according to the participants. The federal government has agreed to hold talks on federal-state financial relations in the next few months. For some countries this was not enough. "We parted without result," it said.