German Bundestag approves 9% increase in arts spending

German Bundestag approves 9% increase in arts spending


norman lebrecht

June 29, 2018

The culture minister Monika Grütters has secured a huge spending increase next year, upping the federal arts budget to 1.8 billion Euros.

Among other beneficiaries, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin opera houses will receive a one-off boost.

‘I am grateful for this signal of confidence in culture from members of parliament,’ said Grütters.

So are we.


  • Chris says:

    Please correct the headline. The German Bundestag approved. Reichstag is only what the building is called and what was the “parliament” during the German Reich…

  • Angela says:

    We are very glad to call our parliament the Bundestag, not the Reichstag any more. Greetings from Germany.

  • Sam says:

    So Germany spending money on mass immigration and still nearly 2 billion on its excess number of Orchestras

    • Tamino says:

      Excess number of orchestras? You mean the money would be better spent on drones and hellfire missiles, killing brown women and children at wedding parties or funerals, like our ‚friends‘ in the US do?
      You know, different countries have different cultures and invest in different things.

    • Andreas B. says:

      and you don’t agree because …?

      I for one, as a German taxpayer, am glad about no federal deficit for several years and falling debt, allowing for tax reductions for lower and middle incomes as well as families.

      additionally: in contrast to the UK, there is no public sector pay cap – salaries have continually been rising, albeit moderately.

      therefore, with growing tax revenue, it seems to be possible to try to spend some money on humanitarian causes, as well.
      (btw, in the last German general election more than 75% voted for parties more or less supportive of Merkel’s policies on immigration)

      also, at least at the “excess orchestra” I work at, performances are regularly sold out, probably also because of affordable prices …

  • Andreas B. says:

    the headline is doubly incorrect:

    as mentioned above, the building may be called Reichstagsgebäude, however the legislature has been called Bundestag since 1949.

    furthermore, parliament has NOT approved the spending increase yet.
    the budget select committee has done so; this still needs to be voted on by both the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

    otherwise, of course, good news!

  • william osborne says:

    It should be noted that this 1.8 billion Euros is only the Federal government budget which is less that 20% of public arts fudning. About 85% comes from the state and municipal levels and creates a total public arts fudning of roughly12 billion Euros (I haven’t checked the numbers of late.) France spends about the same amount.

    • barrry guerrero says:

      . . . and in the U.S., that would all go to military, ‘intelligence’ agencies and secret ‘black’ projects (which are basically unaccountable); right or wrong (I’ll choose right, but waaaaaay too excessive).

    • Tamino says:

      Now think about all the nice military equipment one could buy for that tax money, like the US does. Or all the intelligence one could finance with that to subjugate one’s allies. What a waste.

      • Helene Kamioner says:

        Not to dwell on the past, but the US has never spent as much money on military, military equipment and vernichtungs lager as Germany did not too long ago.

        • Tamino says:

          Not to dwell on the past, but you just did. Actually that is probably untrue. Just by the years multiplied with the war budgets. Do you have an idea of the obscene amounts the US spends on the military and spying?

          • Helene Kamioner says:

            Do you?

          • Greg Hlatky says:

            In FY 2017, US defense spending was 3.4% of GDP, nearly a post-WWII low. Sixty years ago it was three times larger (10.5%). During that same period, Social Security and Medicare spending as a percent of GDP increased sixfold.

          • Tamino says:

            GDP is not a good benchmark. Federal discretionary spending is a better indicator. The US spends more than half, close to two third, of its federal budget on military and covert war efforts (spying).

          • Greg Hlatky says:

            So what? Defense is part of the functions of the Federal government. The arts are not, but are the responsibility of state or local government or the people themselves (10th Amendment). So, once again class, any time any state or city wants to set up their own publicly-funded arts organization they’re perfectly welcome to do so. Nothing is stopping them, nothing at all.

            Is half the discretionary budget too much to spend on defense? It’s a debatable point but none but a fool asks the opinion of hydrophobic America haters.

          • Tamino says:

            Defense would be, but what the US spends money for is not defense. It’s aggressive global dominance. Old school word (for you old self proclaimed teacher) is Imperialism.
            I think it’s better to conquer the world with classical music, than with shooting at women and children from the sky or illegally storing the world citizens personal data in data vaults in the Arizona desert for nefarious purposes. ‘Defense’, hahaha.

  • Jotton Cohn says:

    Meanwhile, in America…

  • Sue says:

    Why? Simply because the German government knows it can rely on artistic lefties to promulgate its ideologies. Same the western world over. Curry favour with artists, civil servants and unions and you’re home and hosed.

    • Andreas B. says:

      again, a comment with nothing of substance to say (or even related to the actual topic) – instead empty catch phrases …

      btw, didn’t you say you were finished with this site a few weeks ago?
      why keep coming back to all those “artistic lefties”?

    • Enough already says:

      The world urgently needs Sue to clean up culture politics on all continents. She is an expert on the workings of every government and their cultural history, traditions and policy from Albania to Zanzibar.

      • Sue says:

        As opposed to an ‘out of university recently’ 20 something who was 12 several years earlier and knows exactly how to steer the world – with the jackboots to prove it.

        Tried and tested; keep artists happy and they’ll sing your tunes for you. He who pays the piper…

        FACT (for adults, that is).