BERLIN Feb 23 Germany's record budget surplus
is not as big as it seems and the federal government's fiscal
room to maneuver is rather limited, Chancellor Angela Merkel
said on Thursday.
"If you look at the federal level alone, the surplus is
rather small," Merkel said during a joint news conference with
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.
Merkel said the government would further increase spending
on defence, as promised to NATO allies, as well as on domestic
security and social improvements.
"At the same time, we don't want to take on new debt. So the
room for maneuver is rather limited," Merkel added.
The German state posted a record budget surplus of 23.7
billion euros ($25 billion) in 2016, creating conditions for
solid economic growth in 2017 underpinned by higher state and
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers)