Berlin to pour 100 billion euros into its army, which would allow it to deploy the largest NATO army in Europe.
Germany’s plan to invest 100 billion euros ($107.35 billion) in its military will allow it to significantly expand its combat strength, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told local media on Monday. This will make the German army the largest in Europe among other NATO members, he said.
The promise, which the German leader made in an interview with several German newspapers, came after the country’s main parliamentary factions agreed on Sunday evening to a special exemption needed to borrow the money and invest it in the military.
The ruling coalition needed the support of opposition lawmakers to secure two-thirds of the vote to pass the decision, which requires an amendment to Germany’s Basic Law. The actual vote is expected to take place before the parliament’s summer recess.
Scholz hailed the bill’s passage on Twitter, saying the additional billions would transform the Bundeswehr into a fighting force that “can fulfill its defense mission better than ever.” The chancellor proposed to create the special military fund in February, days after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Germany currently has the fourth-largest military force among NATO members, but the largest armies in the bloc are deployed by non-European nations, the United States and Turkey. It will have to surpass France in military force to hold the engagement of Scholz.
The strength of the French army is 240,000 active and reserve soldiers, against 199,000 in Germany, according to the Global Firepower Index.