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Germany

Berlin Budget Deemed Unconstitutional

The constitutional court of the city state of Berlin has deemed the capital's 2002/2003 budget as unconstitutional, causing the city to impose a spending freeze until the end of the year. The ruling came after the agreement to keep the level of new debt lower than the level of investment was violated. Investment for each of the two years was assessed at some €2 billion ($2.32 billion), whereas debts are for 2002 and 2003 are running at €6.57 billion and €4.29 billion respectively. Under the terms of the new ruling, Berlin will only continue to spend money on salaries and other running costs. The city senate is hoping to receive financial aid to the tune of €35 billion which would take a large chunk out of its current €50 billion mountain of debt.