German conservatives urge defense spending hike

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives called on Thursday for defense spending to rise to 1.5 percent of economic output by 2021, well above the 1.27 percent rate contained in the budget of Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat. Either proposal would leave Germany still far short of a NATO target that calls for members to move toward spending 2 percent of a gross domestic product by 2024, an objective vigorously pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump.


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