(Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG Chief Executive Officer Roland Busch added his voice to calls for Germany to loosen borrowing restrictions to help fund investments in the transformation of Europe’s biggest economy.

Busch weighed into the debate about easing the rules in the so-called “debt brake” that has increased in intensity since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced Germany to ramp up military spending and a court ruling last year effectively ended the widespread use of off-budget funds.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats and the Greens are in favor of reform to the debt mechanism, but Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the Free Democrats, the smallest party in the three-pronged ruling coalition, strongly opposes such a move, meaning it’s unlikely to happen before the next election due in the fall of 2025.

“We are completely underinvested in defense and catching up now,” Busch said at a banking conference in Berlin Tuesday attended by Scholz and Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel. Lindner, who is currently in Turkey, also contributed via video link.

“We are underinvested in infrastructure — and still need to catch up,” Busch added. “In other words, we have an investment backlog. If we had first worked through this and then agreed on a debt brake, things would look much better.”

Under the mechanism in place — created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis — annual net new borrowing by the federal government is limited to 0.35% of gross domestic product, with exceptions only permitted to deal with natural disasters and other emergencies.

Scholz said Tuesday during a Q&A that he’s open to discuss changes to the rules and it’s legitimate to look at how the debt brake could be adapted given the new challenges Germany faces.

But he also noted that a two-thirds majority is needed in both chambers of parliament for such a reform, meaning it probably won’t happen before the next election given the current political environment.

The leader of the main opposition conservatives, Friedrich Merz, has ruled out any changes to the debt rules, and the issue is certain to be one of the key talking points in the forthcoming election campaign.

Lars Klingbeil, a co-leader of Scholz’s Social Democrats, told Bloomberg last month that Germany will have to loosen the restrictions if it wants to maintain defense spending above NATO’s target of 2% of GDP.

Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing said at the banking conference on Monday evening that even a relaxation of the debt rules would not be enough to cover Germany’s considerable investment needs.

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