BERLIN, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Germany would continue to increase its contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Stressing the importance of transatlantic partnership during a general debate in the Bundestag (federal parliament), she assured that Germany would continue to increase its defense spending. The NATO quota should increase from 1.42 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 to 1.5 percent by 2024 and finally reach 2 percent after 2030.
"Europe cannot defend itself alone at the moment, we are dependent on this alliance," she said.
Recalling a number of unresolved conflicts, for example in Syria and Libya, Merkel said "the preservation of NATO is in our very own interest."
Germany must stand up for the unity of NATO in its current form, she said. Although Turkey was a "difficult partner," it would have to remain within the NATO for geostrategic reasons, she added.
At the same time, Merkel spoke out against burdening the federal budget with new debts and questioned the "condescending" tone in which Germany's balanced national budget was often characterized.
Merkel countered demands from German industry and trade associations for an additional investment package financed with new debts. "One cannot consider investments as good only when they cause debts," she noted.