Good news for Chancellor Merkel. The Finance Ministry, under Wolfgang Schäuble, announced net borrowing is set to be the lowest in 40 years. Germany's revised budget outline for 2014 reaffirms her goal of a structural balanced budget.
Defense spending will go up by several billion euros next year, according to a newly agreed budget plan. The budget maintained Germany's zero-deficit tradition, but only by digging into its refugee reserve fund.
Italy has stuck to its big-spending budget plan, despite demands for changes from the EU and the threat of financial penalties. The move has sparked concerns over Italy's debt and uncertainty from investors.
Figuratively, punk and John Maynard Keynes both died in 1979, the former killed by Duran Duran, the latter by Mrs T., wielding a Milton Friedman-shaped meat cleaver. But Keynes' ghost has made a brief reappearance.
Many EU member states did not agree with her refugee policies; others criticized her austerity stance. Brussels now regards Angela Merkel's step-by-step withdrawal as a chance for new beginnings, says DW's Bernd Riegert.
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