Yes the expenditures had prior approval, but that does not always lead to productive results:
Nine months ago, in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Olaf Scholz declared a Zeitenwende — a turning point — for Germany’s military and its place in the world. But since then, barely any of the €100bn in extra funding the German chancellor pledged has made its way to the armed forces.
The parliamentary body set up in the spring to allocate money to modernisation and reform programmes has met once. The defence ministry had no procurement proposals to submit to it. Its next sitting will not be until February.
Now opposition lawmakers, and some of the country’s leading security experts, are beginning to ask whether Germany’s commitment to a leading role in European defence is anything more than rhetoric.
“Mr Chancellor — I can’t call it anything else, you are breaking your promise to the parliament and especially to the Bundeswehr [federal army],” opposition leader Friedrich Merz said in an attack on Scholz in the Bundestag on Wednesday morning.
Far from rising, the 2023 defence budget, Merz noted, was set to shrink by €300mn based on current government plans. The lack of German action was “[giving] rise to considerable distrust” at Nato and in allied capitals, he claimed. Germany has long fallen short of its Nato-set obligation of spending the equivalent of 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
Here is the full FT story. Via a loyal MR reader.