In the teeth of an election is Germany finally relenting on domestic austerity?

So, having finally balanced its own budget in 2014, Schaeuble finally seems ready to start re-investing in Germany’s ‘crumbling’ infrastructure:

German federal government said on Tuesday that it would spend an additional 5 billion euros (about 5.59 billion U.S. dollars) in the next three years to help local communities improve infrastructure and boost investment.

The additional spending on top of a 10-billion-euro investment plan announced by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble last year would not affect Germany’s strict fiscal principle, according to the Finance Ministry.

“The goal of balanced federal budget with no new debt set in the coalition agreement should not be challenged,” the ministry said in a statement.

It also clarified details of Schaeuble’s 10-billion-euro plan. From 2016 to 2018, 7 billion euros would be invested in public transport infrastructure, energy efficiency, digital infrastructure, climate protection and urban development. The remaining 3 billion euros would be spent on “future-oriented issues.”