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Business

German Parliament Passes 2005 Budget

The Bundestag on Friday passed the 2005 budget but opposition parties voted against it and said they were considering to go before Germany's high court to challenge its constitutionality. The German government is planning to spend €254.3 billion ($334.6 billion) next year -- €3 billion less than in 2004. The spending plan also foresees fresh public borrowing to the tune of €22 billion, and a record €17 billion in revenues from the privatization of government property. According to the plan, borrowing would stay below new investments of €22.7 billion as required by the constitution. Parliament on Tuesday already passed the revised 2004 budget, which includes a new debt record of €43.5 billion. Government officials have said that opposition parties are to blame for the need to borrow more money as they have blocked saving plans in Germany's upper house, the Bundesrat. Opposition parties are also expected to challenge the 2004 budget before Germany's constitutional court.

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