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Budget

German government approves ambitious budget plans

The German cabinet has thrown its weight behind Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble's budget plans for this year and beyond. Berlin said it aimed to do without any fresh borrowing as of next year.

The grand coalition government in Berlin said it needed 6.6 billion euros ($9.14 billion) in fresh borrowing this year, down from loans amounting to 22.1 billion euros a year earlier.

The federal budget plan for 2014 as approved by the cabinet Wednesday foresees total spending to the tune of 298.5 billion euros on expected tax revenues of 268.9 billion euros.

Predicted expenditures in the course of this year include a final batch of 4.3 billion euros for the eurozone's permanent rescue fund also known as European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Three and a half billion euros less are to be allocated for propping up the statutory health fund as welfare coffers are well-filled thanks to robust employment across the nation.

Crimea threat?

Increasing German tax revenues

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (pictured) insisted Germany would do without any fresh borrowing in 2015 and the following years, an achievement seen last in the country in 1969.

The minister said the ambitious budgetary objectives were unlikely to be affected by the West's current standoff with Russian over Ukraine and the Crimea conflict in particular.

"We take the financial and economic risks very seriously, but we believe the effects are and will be manageable," Schäuble told reporters in Berlin, adding that the country's finances were robust enough to emerge from the crisis more or less unharmed.

hg/mz (dpa, Reuters)

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