Merkel ‘realistic’ about NATO spending target for Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Berlin is committed to the NATO target of spending two percent of a country's GDP on defense, but is realistic about reaching it. She also underlined on Friday Germany’s plan to reach 1.5 percent by 2024. After meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Merkel said that “sometimes this may seem too slow but things are going in the right direction.” NATO member states agreed in 2014 to move toward the 2 percent guideline within a decade. Merkel said: “We accept this target, but we are also giving realistic information.” US President Donald Trump has criticized Germany for falling short. Stoltenberg said he was glad Germany’s spending is rising, but encouraged Berlin “to do more, because Germany is the biggest economy in Europe.”