Schulz opposes ‘two percent’ Nato goal, euobserver.com

Martin Schulz, the centre-left contender to become Germany’s next chancellor, said he would not pursue policies to achieve an increase of defence spending as agreed with Nato allies.

Schulz said the long-term goal of reaching a defence budget of two percent of gross domestic product (GDP), would mean that Germany would increase military spending by at least €20 billion in the coming years.

“That can definitely not be the goal of a government led by me,” said Schulz at a press conference on Monday (10 April)…

Germany, the EU’s largest member state, is planning to spend €37 billion on defence in 2017, which amounts to around 1.2 percent of the country’s GDP.  Schulz’ main rival, chancellor Angela Merkel of the centre-right CDU party, has said Germany feels “obliged to reach this goal” of two percent defence spending. “We will do everything we can in order to fulfil this commitment,” Merkel said in February, at the Munich Security Conference.

But the centre-left social-democrats, who have been in a coalition with Merkel’s CDU and its sister party CSU since 2013, have recently been railing against the Nato pledge, despite them being in government when it was agreed…

Dalibor Rohac, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, recently noted that if Germany earmarked just over two percent of its GDP on defence, it would outspend Russia and become the world’s fourth-largest military power. Läs artikel