German gov't supports US troops with over 243 mln euros since 2012

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-21 22:40:31|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BERLIN, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Over the past seven years, the German government supported U.S. troops stationed in Germany with 243 million euros (269.8 million U.S. dollars), according to a response by the Ministry of Finance to an inquiry by left-wing Bundestag member Brigitte Freihold on Wednesday.

Among other things, the German government paid pension benefits for former employees and the management of land and buildings, according to the ministry.

In addition, the German government paid a share in the construction costs for U.S. armed forces based in Germany, the ministry noted.

The German government had earmarked 480 million euros for all military construction measures by NATO partners in Germany between 2012 and 2019, which were "almost exclusively" attributable to the United States, it said.

The ministry noted that one of the most cost-intensive projects was the construction of "the largest military hospital outside the United States" in the Western Palatinate.

The financial volume for the so-called Rhine Ordnance Barrack Medical Center Replacement hospital in Weilerbach was almost 1 billion euros, according to the ministry.

"In view of the investment backlog in German schools and hospitals, hundreds of millions of euros are completely unacceptable for U.S. schools and the future military hospital in Weilerbach," criticized left-wing parliamentarian Freihold in a statement sent to Xinhua.

The "continued alimony of Trump troops" in Germany was no longer acceptable, stressed Freihold and called for the German government to "articulate to Ambassador Grenell and President Trump the demand for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from German soil".

The German finance ministry noted that the U.S. currently had around 35,700 soldiers stationed in four federal states, more than half of them in Rhineland-Palatinate, 11,689 in Bavaria, 3,036 in Baden-Wuerttemberg and 2,471 in Hesse.

According to the American embassy, an additional 17,000 American and 12,000 German civilians were employed by the U.S. armed forces.

Back in June, during a visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda to Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump had suggested redeploying U.S. troops from Germany to Poland.

Trump had justified this suggestion by what he considered insufficient military expenditures by Germany and the president was supported by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell who had reiterated the threat at the beginning of August.