Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would increase defense spending as she prepares to attend an upcoming NATO summit next week in Brussels. "Compared to what others are doing in relation to GDP this is not nearly enough," she was cited as saying by DW.
The report adds that while the new budget will represent a €4-billion ($4.65 billion) increase in funding for the military, it is unlikely to satisfy critics from other NATO allies, primarily US President Donald Trump, who have regularly complained that Germany is not spending enough on defense.
This week, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz will officially present his revised draft budget for 2019, which includes significant spending increases for the armed forces, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper. Government sources told DPA press agency that the armed forces' budget is set to rise to €42.9 billion. The revised budget, set to go to the Cabinet for approval on Friday, would be around €675 million more than previously planned for 2019.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has promised to end spending cuts for the armed forces, had criticized the initial budget proposal as insufficient. "I can tell you that I am very satisfied with the 2019 budget," she told reporters.