Interest payments on German debt could skyrocket next year, warns finance minister

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner speaks during a session of the lower house of the German parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany May 31, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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BERLIN, June 18 (Reuters) – Finance Minister Christian Lindner has warned that interest charges on Germany’s public debt could reach 30 billion euros next year due to rising interest rates and growing debt, adding that he would resist calls for more spending.

Lindner said he wanted to end next year the three years of government largesse that had characterized attempts to prop up the economy during the coronavirus crisis and reapply Germany’s constitutional debt brake the next year.

“We are experiencing dangerous inflation which must be curbed,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview. “The readiness to take entrepreneurial risks could be reduced. We cannot let this become an economic crisis.”

Germany spent 4 billion euros on interest last year, Lindner, of the business-friendly Liberal Democrat party, said, adding that he would resist calls from his coalition partners for more spending.

“We can no longer afford misdirected subsidies,” he said. He listed subsidies for the purchase of electric and hybrid cars that were available even to very high earners as examples of subsidies that should be eliminated.

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Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Sandra Maler

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