Status: 29.11.2023, 16:34 PM
Mario Voigt, CDU state chairman. © Martin Schutt/dpa
For months, there has been a dispute about the state budget for the election year 2024 in Thuringia. Now the red-red-green minority government has approached the CDU. Whether there is a solution could be decided this week.
Erfurt - The search for a compromise on the 2024 state budget is entering the next round. After the government's proposals to make considerable corrections in the draft budget, the leader of the opposition in the state parliament, CDU parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt, wants to meet with Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) this week. He wanted to invite Ramelow to a meeting to find a solution, Voigt said on Wednesday in Erfurt. He named this Friday as the date for a possible meeting. "My goal is for Thuringia to have a budget," Voigt said.
Ramelow's minority government of the Left Party, the SPD and the Greens, as well as the CDU parliamentary group, are under time pressure because the budget committee of the state parliament is meeting this Friday. Actually, he wants to set the course for the adoption of the budget by debating several hundred amendments.
Danger of unorthodox decisions
Red-Red-Green runs the risk of being outvoted by the majority of the CDU, AfD and FDP. And the CDU would have to ask itself why it concedes budgetary responsibility to the AfD, which is classified by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as proven to be right-wing extremist.
At the meeting, he wanted to explain to Ramelow the results of the examination of the government's proposals for improving the budget and where there are possibilities for agreement, Voigt said. Ramelow's government had made compromise proposals to the CDU on Tuesday, up to and including abandoning a planned constitutional lawsuit against the reduction in real estate transfer tax pushed through by the CDU together with the AfD and FDP. In addition, money is to remain in the country's financial reserves and not be completely used up for the 2024 budget as planned.
CDU parliamentary group leader calls draft budget a mess
According to Voigt, there is movement, which Thuringia attested to a "critical situation". Among other things, the CDU is examining the government's proposal to dissolve the state's Corona/Energy special fund and put about 200 million euros of it into the reserves. The leader of the Left Party's parliamentary group, Steffen Dittes, said that even after the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court on the federal budget, there were no legal objections to this step. The special fund in Thuringia was financed with state and federal funds and only partly by loans.
No failure of the budget?
Not only Voigt, but also the leaders of the Left Party, the SPD and the Greens reaffirmed that they wanted to prevent the budget from failing. In some cases, tough concessions would have to be made for this. The deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Lutz Liebscher, feared that the contribution-free third year of kindergarten demanded by his parliamentary group could possibly become a victim of the compromise. It would also cost about 45 million euros per year - as would the reduction of the real estate transfer tax from 6.5 to 5.0 percent pushed through by the CDU.
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Government: Compromise proposal for budget disputes
Liebscher said of the government's compromise offer: "The table is set for the CDU." A period without a budget must be prevented, explained the parliamentary group leader of the Greens, Astrid Rothe-Beinlich. "I'm irritated by the way the CDU is playing for time." AfD parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke accused Red-Red-Green and CDU of cheating. "We insist on the parliamentary procedure."
Ramelow's coalition lacks four votes in the state parliament to be able to pass laws or the annual state budget on its own. Whether the budget and finance committee of the state parliament will meet as planned on Friday, the representatives of the parliamentary groups could not say. It is also conceivable that the committee meeting will be temporarily interrupted in order to await possible results of talks between Voigt and Ramelow on the budget, it said. Dpa