Merkel sticks to balanced budget despite Brexit, refugee costs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is retaining plans for a balanced budget over the next four years, despite the uncertainty unleashed by Britain's vote to exit the EU and the costs of accommodating large numbers of refugees.

Merkel's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's draft budget plans for next year and for the years up to 2020.

The budget includes spending 77.5 billion euros (86.4 billion dollars) over the next four years on providing for refugees who have entered the country and dealing with the causes of European migration.

About one million refugees, many escaping war in the Middle East and Africa, arrived in Germany last year.

Berlin also plans to cut its public debt to less than 60 per cent of gross domestic product by 2020, bringing it into line with the debt target for euro member states for the first time since 2002.

Schaeuble expects government spending to total 328.7 billion euros next year before rising to 349.3 billion euros in 2020.

Last update: Sat, 09/07/2016 - 16:09

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