Germany’s debt interest payments could soar next year, finance minister warns

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister Christian Lindner speaks during a session of German lower house of parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany May 31, 2022. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) – Finance Minister Christian Lindner warned that interest charges on Germany’s public debt could reach 30 billion euros next year due to rising interest rates and growing debt levels, adding that he would resist calls to increase spendings.

Lindner said he wanted to bring an end next year to the three years of government largesse that had characterized attempts to prop up the economy through the coronavirus crisis and reapply Germany’s constitutional debt brake next year.

“We are experiencing dangerous inflation that has to be braked,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview. “Preparedness to take entrepreneurial risks could be reduced. We can’t let this become an economic crisis.”

Germany spent 4 billion euros on interest last year, said Lindner, from the business-friendly Free Democrat party, adding that he would resist calls from his coalition partners for increased spending.

“We can’t afford ill-directed subsidies any more,” he said. He listed subsidies for buying electric and hybrid cars that were available even to very high earners as examples of subsidies that should be scrapped.

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