- The CDU made a suggestive tweet on Wednesday, using an image of the well-known "black zero" wearing an dominatrix-style hat.
- The black zero represents the center-right party's pledge of maintaining a balanced budget and not incurring any new debt.
- There have been widespread calls for the government to unleash fresh stimulus measures with Germany's economy only narrowly avoiding a technical recession twice this year.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative party might seem like the unlikely source of sexual innuendo but the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) revealed on Thursday that it "has a little fetish" — "solid finances."
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, the CDU said, according to a CNBC translation: "Yes, we have to admit, we have a little fetish: Solid finances with no new debt! That is practicing generational fairness. And the best way to invest in the future. We consider both sides. And our household shows: Pursuing both works!"
Within the tweet, the CDU had a picture of a black zero wearing an dominatrix-style hat. The "black zero" (or "schwarze Null") is widely known for being the name of the government's policy (and some see it as an obsession) of maintaining a balanced budget and not incurring any new debt.
It might not seem like everyone's idea of fun but Germany, Europe's largest economy, certainly has a long-standing penchant for fiscal prudence. The CDU has enshrined this in government policies, despite pressure from opposition parties to spend more with the country narrowly avoiding a technical recession twice this year.
The latest growth data released earlier in November showed the economy grew just 0.1% in the third quarter. Even Merkel's ally, French President Emmanuel Macron, accused Germany of having a "budget fetish" earlier this year.
Germany has maintained a budget surplus (when revenues outweigh spending) since 2014 and it registered a record budget surplus of 58 billion euros ($65 billion) in 2018.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of the CDU (though Merkel remains Germany's leader), said at a news conference in August that "the black zero, as an expression of finance policy solidity, is an indispensable principle for us."