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Germany: Increase in military spending to meet NATO goals 'not a priority' – Schultz02:03

Germany: Increase in military spending to meet NATO goals 'not a priority' – Schultz

Germany, Berlin
April 10, 2017 at 15:23 GMT -00:00 · Published

Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) presidential candidate Martin Schulz stated that NATO’s two percent goal on defence spending would mean a "substantial financial burden for Germany," while speaking to foreign press in Berlin on Monday.

If he were to be elected German chancellor in the autumn national election, Schulz stated that there would be no big defence spending boosts for NATO. "I'm not of the opinion that NATO member states have agreed to achieve this goal of spending two percent of their GDP for defence," Schulz stated.

"If I interpret this correctly, what was said is that this goal is something to strive for. Twenty billion [euros] or more in additional defence expenditures would certainly not be a goal my government would pursue."

Schulz stressed that NATO’s two-percent defence goal "doesn't seem to me to be the highest priority of German foreign policy." "What we need is not an upward spiral in armaments but rather disarmament initiatives," he added.

At their 2014 summit in Wales, NATO members set two percent of their GDP in defence spending as a guideline goal for 2024. US President Donald Trump has recently called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to increase Germany’s military spending towards two percent of GDP. Germany's defence spending currently lies at around 1.2 percent of GDP.

Germany: Increase in military spending to meet NATO goals 'not a priority' – Schultz02:03
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Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) presidential candidate Martin Schulz stated that NATO’s two percent goal on defence spending would mean a "substantial financial burden for Germany," while speaking to foreign press in Berlin on Monday.

If he were to be elected German chancellor in the autumn national election, Schulz stated that there would be no big defence spending boosts for NATO. "I'm not of the opinion that NATO member states have agreed to achieve this goal of spending two percent of their GDP for defence," Schulz stated.

"If I interpret this correctly, what was said is that this goal is something to strive for. Twenty billion [euros] or more in additional defence expenditures would certainly not be a goal my government would pursue."

Schulz stressed that NATO’s two-percent defence goal "doesn't seem to me to be the highest priority of German foreign policy." "What we need is not an upward spiral in armaments but rather disarmament initiatives," he added.

At their 2014 summit in Wales, NATO members set two percent of their GDP in defence spending as a guideline goal for 2024. US President Donald Trump has recently called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to increase Germany’s military spending towards two percent of GDP. Germany's defence spending currently lies at around 1.2 percent of GDP.

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