< /p> German Parliamentary Commissioner for Defense Eva Höglová (pictured on March 14, 2023).
Berlin – Last year, the German army did not receive a cent from a special arms fund of 100 billion euros (2.4 trillion CZK) and everything is taking too long. This was announced today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Defense Eva Höglová, who handed over the annual report to the Speaker of the Bundestag Bärbel Basová. In it, he criticizes the insufficient pace of investment in the German army, because under current conditions, according to Högl's army, modernization would take half a century.
“Of the 100 billion euros in 2022, not a single euro and not a cent reached the army,” Höglová said. A special arms fund with 100 billion euros to modernize the army was promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz shortly after last year's Russian invasion of Ukraine, and he also announced an immediate increase in defense spending to at least two percent of the economy's output, as agreed by the North Atlantic Alliance states.
“The awarding of public contracts is too cumbersome, everything takes too long,” said Höglová, according to whom this fact prevents rapid modernization. The aforementioned arms fund, which provides the army with finances outside of the regular budget, was approved by the German parliament last June. The army also received 50.4 billion euros (1.2 trillion CZK) from the budget last year. Defense spending, as the commissioner states, continues to remain below the two percent target, last year it was about 1.5 percent of GDP.
The annual report also points out that the hundred billion dollar arms fund will not be enough, because according to military experts, the army would it needed 300 billion euros (CZK 7.1 trillion) for its transformation.
Höglová called for speeding up the reform of the procedures for awarding army contracts. “We need to deploy a significant turbo. The money must reach the soldiers in the necessary volume, and quickly,” she said. She added that she sees her report as an impulse for those who bear political responsibility.
At the press conference, Höglová addressed Chancellor Scholz directly when she said that the new German pace also needs the Bundeswehr, as the German armed forces are called . Scholz often mentions the new German pace when he talks about the rapid construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
The modernization of the army requires not only rearmament, but also suitable facilities. Here, too, the recovery process stalls. “Too many barracks in Germany are in a deplorable state. If current rates and conditions continue, it would take about half a century for the current infrastructure to be fully modernized,” the report said. Höglová noted that there is a lack of accommodation, toilets, showers or access to wireless internet.