It is about a total volume of around 75 billion euros: After the coalition partners from the SPD, Greens and Left had wrestled with each other for months, the decision on the double budget is expected for late Thursday evening.

SPD faction leader Raed Saleh started the more than two-hour general debate. He explained that the budget follows “the strategy of the affordable city”. The relief for people who live in Berlin will be further expanded, said Saleh, and demonstrated this with the introduction of a third year of after-school care free of charge.

The measure helps families “so that they can continue to afford life in the city,” said Saleh, explaining that the coalition wanted to “consistently continue its social course”. Other projects that Saleh mentioned were the expansion of rail infrastructure, in particular the cessation of funds for subway planning, and additional funds to combat homelessness.

[If you want all the latest news live on your phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

Saleh mentioned the creation of a naturalization center that will in future provide 20,000 people a year with German citizenship and was one of the heart concerns of the SPD parliamentary group leader in recent budget negotiations, as well as the restart program for Berlin’s economy. “You don’t save in a crisis,” Saleh explained and announced that the special debt repayment planned for the coming year was “not automatic”.

Silke Gebel, leader of the Greens, emphasized the projects that are extremely important for her party to achieve climate neutrality in the city. “This double budget has to solve problems, both today’s and those of the future,” explained Gebel, adding that the coalition was igniting the “double climate booster” of climate neutrality and climate adaptation.

Examples of this “cross-sectional task” being accepted are the launch of a climate-neutral vehicle fleet for the fire brigade or the “Green Hospital Program”, which the Greens had anchored in the budget on Gebel’s initiative and which helps hospitals to save energy target.

With 570 million euros that will be made available for investments in hospitals by the end of 2023, the federal capital should become a “health policy beacon”, explained Gebel and at the end of her speech raised the claim that Berlin should be a climate-neutral, climate-resilient, feminist, just and social city make.

Left parliamentary group leader Anne Helm emphasized the projects planned in the double budget to “shape the growing city socially”. “We want to offer everyone participation and the same living conditions,” said Helm, adding: “The better the public infrastructure is, the more resilient the city is to crises.”

Helm emphasized the project of a 380 million euro energy fund introduced by the left into the budget negotiations, which is intended to cushion the hardship of private individuals and the public sector due to rising energy prices. “We have taken precautions to cushion at least the greatest hardships,” explained Helm and announced: “No one will be thrown out of their apartment because of rising energy prices.” In addition, she praised the 650 million euros set aside for the accommodation and care of refugees.

Opposition leader and CDU faction leader Kai Wegner used his speech for general criticism of the red-green-red coalition that has been in power for six months. Their draft budget is like an “absolute tragedy,” said Wegner, accusing the coalition of putting sentiment ahead of the better idea.

In the face of “educational chaos, housing chaos and mobility chaos”, it is not enough to act with foresight, as Foreign Minister Saleh explained in his speech. Instead, the problems that Berliners have had for years must be solved in the short term, said Wegner, citing rising rents and a lack of apartments as well as the ongoing misery at the citizen registration offices as examples.

In addition, Wegner, who described the need for the mobility turnaround in Berlin as a “consensus”, criticized the reduction of parking spaces without the simultaneous expansion of public transport. “Finally create the offers so that people can use them,” said Wegner. He campaigned for the further construction of the A100 city motorway, for teaching staff to become civil servants and for giving the police the support “they deserve” with an investment program.

AfD faction leader Kristin Brinker accused the coalition of spending money “with plenty” while citizens had to save. “Good citizens of the city have to take responsibility for an orgy of debt,” Brinker explained, calling on the Senate not to incur any further debt. Specifically, she criticized the planned expenditure on development aid or the accommodation and food for asylum seekers.

The housing supply in Berlin should be dissolved as well as the expert commission for the implementation of the expropriation referendum, explained Brinker and instead campaigned for the financing of a hire-purchase model proposed by the AfD, among others. Berlin needs a research offensive and should become Europe’s innovation capital, she explained.

FDP parliamentary group leader Sebastian Czaja criticized the coalition for the large number of test orders and reports provided for in the double budget. “The good will was there, but the assertiveness was lacking,” Czaja summarized the package that was passed six months late.

“The Senate’s doing nothing is an abuse of office,” explained Czaja and campaigned for a “clear prioritization of future investments in the infrastructure, the education system and the digitization of the administration.” depend,” said Czaja and criticized the fact that a hire-purchase model demanded by the FDP, among others, is not reflected in the household.