Merkel stands by principle of balanced budget, spokesman says

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Germany's new Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, at the provisionally plenary hall of the German lower house of Parliament Bundestag at the Paul Loebe Haus in Berlin, Germany July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that she stands by the principle of a balanced budget, her spokesman said after an official said the finance ministry was considering issuing new debt to finance a climate protection program.

“The chancellor has never left any doubt ... that she stands by the principle of a balanced budget,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference on Monday.

“We have a policy that is not being called into question that we had balanced budgets in recent years and we continue to strive for those,” he added.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Tassilo Hummel