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German Parliament Passes Federal Budget for 2013

Nov. 23, 2012 - 05:26PM   |  
By Albrecht Müller   |   Comments
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BONN — The German parliament passed, by 312 to 258 votes, a 302 billion euro ($388.4 billion) federal budget for 2013, which includes a Defense Ministry budget of 33.3 billion euros, a nominal increase by about 1.4 billion euros over 2012.

Together with the federal debt, that represents the second largest portion of the budget, only topped by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

According to the Defense Ministry, the budget increase is mainly the result of pay raises, which amount to around 1 billion euros. Personnel expenditures include 196,200 soldiers and 85.300 civil employees. More than two-third of the 2013 defense budget draft will flow into personnel and management.

In the medium term, the German defense budget is supposed to decline to about 32.5 billion euros by 2015 and 2016. However, surplus civilian Bundeswehr staff caused by the ongoing restructuring of the German military will not be financed by the defense budget, but with 1 billion euros from the federal budget section, “General Financial Management.”

The money for procurement and maintenance will shrink by 226 million euros to 10.37 billion euros. In 2013, the purchase of the Eurofighter aircraft will be the greatest single expenditure in this sector, with total costs of 1.05 billion euros. However, as part of the restructuring, the Bundeswehr has decided to make substantial cuts within its equipment and will, for instance, not buy the last tranche of 37 Eurofighters as planned.

The Bundeswehr plans 7.1 billion euros for defense investment, including. additional demands in infrastructure and information technology caused by the ongoing restructuring.

Besides a reduction of personnel and equipment, the Bundeswehr reform includes closing bases, ending conscription and deep changes in the organization of the German military. These happen in a top-down approach.

The Defense Ministry itself was cut by more than one-third, down to 2,000 personnel this year. Since Oct. 1, the chief of staffs and their bureaucratic apparatuses are no longer part of the ministry. Five military commands and three civil agencies are now the top administrative level below the ministry.

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