Germany will continue to stand closely by Ukraine’s side and enable its military to defend itself against attacks from the Russian aggressor. This was emphasised by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bundestag on Wednesday. “As a country, we are doing this with great vigour ,” said the Federal Chancellor.
Along with self-propelled howitzers, rocket launchers, air defence systems and infantry fighting vehicles, plans are now in place to supply Leopard 2A6 battle tanks to Ukraine. These will be drawn from Federal Armed Forces reserves. Their crews will be trained in Germany. Two battalions will be made available in conjunction with Germany's allies.
Scholz stressed that it was right not to let the issue of delivering weapons drag on. The Federal Chancellor argued that taking a step-by-step approach in close consultation with allies was important in preventing the conflict from escalating.
Modernising the economy at speed
“The Federal Government has averted the economic crisis,” said Scholz, noting that there had been no autumn of discontent or supply shortages. “We’ve shown what we are made of,” said the Federal Chancellor in the introduction to his speech. Scholz said that the pace which Germany had set must be maintained on issues such as expanding renewable energy and transforming the economy, while always working towards the goal of becoming the world's first carbon-neutral country. During the past year, the Federal Government approved a range of resolutions to speed up the necessary processes. “The decisive issue of this legislative period will be speeding up Germany,” Scholz said.
Housing, children, and living together
The creation of the Housing Alliance aims to break down barriers to housebuilding. Scholz stressed how important it was to create subsidised housing. The funds for this are being distributed.
The basic child allowance is another major project for the Federal Government, Scholz explained. Raising child benefits to 250 euros a month and increasing the supplement for working parents will significantly ease the burden on parents.
An open society
The Federal Chancellor stressed the importance of democracy and an open society which accepts the differences between people living in Germany. Yet justice and the law must be upheld. Firm convictions unite people in the country, Scholz said, regardless of where they were born.