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Germany faces tighter public finances as growth slows

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's government is grappling with the prospect of tighter public finances over the coming years as economic growth slows. It is insisting it will stick to its policy of running up no new debt.

News agency dpa reported Monday that the government faces a budget shortfall of 24.7 billion euros ($28.3 billion) through 2023, compared with previous predictions. It cited a document sent by Werner Gatzer, a deputy finance minister, to other ministries.

Germany long enjoyed better-than-expected tax revenues as Europe's biggest economy motored along but Finance Minister Olaf Scholz warned last month that "the fat years are over." The government recently cut its economic growth forecast.

The finance ministry wouldn't confirm the shortfall figure but said maintaining a balanced budget remains "the clear proviso" in government planning.

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