We stick to 'black zero', Germany's ruling conservatives reiterate

FILE PHOTO: The skyline with its banking district is photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s ruling conservatives on Wednesday reiterated their position to uphold the ‘black zero’ budget policy of not contracting new debt after a media report said they may drop the balanced budget goal if the economic situation darkens further.

“The Union (party) stance is clear: We stick to the black zero,” Chancellor Merkel’s chief budget lawmaker Eckhardt Rehberg said after Bloomberg reported that the Chancellor’s Christian Democrats were softening their opposition to fiscal stimulus measures.

Germany’s economic institutes earlier this month called on Berlin to ditch the ‘black zero’ if the growth outlook for Europe’s largest economy should deteriorate further.

Under the German debt brake rule, the federal government can take on new debt of up to 0.35% of economic output.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber, writing by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Tassilo Hummel