Mr Linnemann, with your lawsuit against the supplementary budget, you have dealt a blow to the traffic light. Have you popped the champagne corks? Have you already distributed the ministerial posts?

Heike Göbel

Editor in charge of economic policy, responsible for "The Order of the Economy".

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Christian Geinitz

Business correspondent in Berlin

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Manfred Schäfers

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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No, of course not. This trickery by the traffic light was a serious mistake and puts a strain on the credibility of the entire policy. It is good that the Federal Constitutional Court has now put a stop to this behaviour. The shadow budgets are finally coming to an end. We've never done that: put debt bags in the basement and spend the money when you want.

Her party colleagues in Düsseldorf and Berlin are doing the same. They, too, want to finance their government program with huge ancillary budgets.

No. You have to make a distinction here. Take Berlin, for example: no funds will be reallocated to new purposes for the special fund planned there. This was not the case with the German government, which took advantage of the suspension of the debt brake and reallocated funds to finance projects in later years. This is precisely what is unconstitutional. Such behaviour leads to arbitrariness in budgetary policy. That is why the verdict is a blessing for the next generations. Now politicians are forced to set priorities.

So the Union is not prepared to soften the debt brake a little?

No! The debt brake is not an end in itself, it is an expression of intergenerational justice. We need to curb the state's hunger for ever new sources of money. I am preparing myself for the election campaign to be tough here because the left-wing parties are talking about tax increases. If the SPD beats the drum for a temporary crisis levy, we will oppose it with drums and trumpets. That's a joke of history. As if politicians will ever abolish a temporary levy. The solos still exist today.

Which of the items from the climate fund would the Union cut: the 10 billion for the chip factory in Magdeburg or the funds for the railway renovation?

We are not responsible for the financial misery, we did not come up with the financing structures rejected by the court. The traffic light must now provide answers.

Where will the subsidies for new heating systems come from in the future?

The traffic light must now rearrange its priorities. To put it bluntly: We would not have made such a heating law. We, too, want social compensation, but we are focusing above all on emissions trading, i.e. on the steering effect of the CO2 price. Then politicians will not have to decide from above how to heat at the bottom. We want a market economy, we want to see which technologies prevail in the competition.

Shouldn't the Union also be honest about budgetary policy and say what it could do without when money is tight?

Of course, we will. We helped develop the debt brake. Wolfgang Schäuble lived the "black zero" as finance minister. This is a DNA that belongs to the CDU like water to fish. The fact is that in the last 20 years, this country has expanded the social quota to around 32 percent. We have all done too much social policy with a watering can. There can therefore be no further increase in the maternity pension, to be specific. I also say this self-critically.