Munich CSU boss Markus Söder sees important successes in the fight against the corona virus, but warns against carelessness. The worst has been overcome for the time being, said Söder on Friday evening in his speech at the first Internet party conference in CSU history. “We got through quite well.”
The past few weeks have been an incredible test for the health system, for politics and the population. “Corona is stressing. Some because they are very concerned, others because they are very annoyed, ”the Bavarian Prime Minister admitted. Corona remains an existential challenge. “We stick to it: prudence and caution and prudence is our key adviser.”
Söder announced further easing of the strict corona measures. After a month-long forced break, all children should be allowed to go back to kindergartens and crèches by July 1st. So far, there had only been a road map for around 80 percent of the children.
In addition to health, the economic consequences of the pandemic are also driving the Christian social. They warn of unlimited spending programs to deal with the corona crisis. “Debt must remain the exception. To do this, we need an upper limit for German public debt in times of crisis, ”says the main proposal for the party conference.
The federal government should only be allowed to borrow a maximum of 100 billion euros in additional debts this year, said Söder in his speech. “It is important that we do not ruin the state.” Anti-crisis concepts for further new borrowings of up to 150 or 200 billion euros cannot be financed, all aid must remain “economically sensible”. And the debt ratio should rise to a maximum of 90 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
For the first time, the Bavarian Prime Minister supported the CSU’s demand for an upper limit for German government debt with a concrete sum. 156 billion new debts are already planned. Söder left open how to keep the border and at the same time finance the planned large stimulus program.
Priority for digitization and high-tech
The debt brake in the Basic Law should not be shaken. “Government debt must not be an end in itself, but must serve growth and innovation,” the lead motion continues.
This also applies to Europe: The 500 billion euro package proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and French President Emmanuel Macron to stimulate the economy must flow into digitalization and high-tech projects, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party demands. The CSU continues to reject European corona bonds. “There will be no fiscal policy adventures like a European debt union with us.”
For Germany, the CSU proposes, among other things, to accelerate the expansion of fast 5G mobile radio networks with a five billion euro injection for the new federal mobile communications infrastructure company. The crisis must be a “launch pad” to accelerate digitalization, the lead motion says.
On the solidarity surcharge, the immediate abolition of which CSU boss Söder had requested, the party remains non-binding in the application: “We want to give the coalition new advice on the schedule and scope of the abolition of the solidarity surcharge.”
In a “pact for growth and jobs”, company profits should be taxed at a maximum of 25 percent, investments should be depreciated more quickly, and losses should be more easily offset against previous profits for tax purposes.
In order to reduce companies’ energy costs, the CSU wants to lower the EEG surcharge and introduce a trade electricity price. Social security contributions would have to remain below 40 percent for several years.
In the lead application, the party also affirmed the idea of travel vouchers for a holiday in Germany and an “innovation bonus when buying an emission-friendly vehicle”. This will be decided in the coalition on June 2.
The CSU demands that Europe needs a “renaissance of industrial policy”, especially for the pharmaceutical industry. The crisis had shown that. “We want to specifically move production back to Germany and Europe in key areas, reduce one-sided dependencies in supply chains and close value chains in Europe.”
If necessary, pharmaceutical manufacturers would have to be obliged to produce a variant of important products in Europe again.
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