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Speaking to Bloomberg, North Rhine-Westphalia Minister-President and centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) chancellor candidate Armin Laschet states that after the pandemic EU budget rules must be reinstated.

  • Also states that his party would not support changes to Germany's debt brake mechanism, and that the country must return to 'stable budget policies' once the pandemic has passed.
  • Significant focus has been directed at Laschet's policies on EU spending and the debt brake given he is favourite to take over from Angela Merkel as chancellor following the September federal election. His likely partners - the environmentalist Greens - may seek to twist his arm on both these issues though, with the party in favour of more expansionary fiscal policy (in the context of German politics).
  • Says that he is 'very optimistic' regarding EU-US relations.
  • On China, when asked if he fears them, replies 'yes'. Says that Belt and Road initiatives in his home state have facilitated trade, but in some areas (Piraeaus Port, initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa) it has created 'dependencies'.