“Many voters have made it very clear that they want a change of government, says Olaf Scholz, whose practical and realistic vision has convinced thousands of voters
A great success”. This is how Olaf Scholz defined last night the result obtained by the Social Democrats at the polls, especially in the case of a party for which only a few months ago they had a very limited future. Of course I am happy. Many voters have made it clear that they want a change in the government and that the next chancellor must be Olaf Scholz, “added the SPD leader, whose leaders consider that the powerful ‘jump’ registered in terms of support further supports their opinion of that Germany “wants” a Social Democratic Executive.
True to his characteristic pragmatism, the still candidate for chancellor attended the planned post-election television debate last night with a sober and reserved attitude. But even so he made clear the “indisputable” character of his triumph. He was willing to start talks on possible alliances as soon as possible and firmly assured that he wants to launch an Executive “before Christmas.”
He knows how to assemble cabinets and the challenges that make it advisable to assemble them as soon as possible so that Germany does not lose vigor. Scholz is the expert, the politician who throughout his professional career has held practically every possible governmental and internal party office, except that of Federal Chancellor, to which he is now much closer.
That experience has been displayed throughout the campaign and has been one of the causes of its popularity among voters. At the age of 62, the Social Democratic leader has been Interior Senator in the city-State of Hamburg, Secretary General of the SPD, Federal Minister of Labor, Mayor-Governor of Hamburg, Vice President of his party and Federal Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister in the last government of Angela Merkel.
That baggage, and the mistakes made in the campaign by his rivals, are the reason why Scholz has made the SPD the most voted political force. If Merkel has been the ‘Mutti’, the mother of the Germans in recent years, Scholz could easily become the ‘Vati’, the protective father that the citizens of this country desire, for his sobriety, realism and practical vision of the stuff. A persevering all-rounder with a lot of stamina and a guarantor of the continuity of German well-being.
The oldest of three brothers
The current number two of the federal government has managed to unite the Social Democrats and obtained the support of all its wings, despite the fact that until his electoral nomination he was not exactly everyone’s favorite. The ‘Jusos’, the youth of the party, and the reddest sector of the same have frequently criticized him for his participation in the elaboration of the so-called 2010 Agenda of the former Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, with labor market reforms that harmed the workers and marked the beginning of the decline of the SPD. And in the fight for the presidency of the SPD he was defeated in December 2019 by Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans.
Despite this setback, Scholz did not give up and remained in his positions as vice chancellor and head of the German treasury. At the time, nothing suggested that he would be unanimously nominated as a candidate for the Federal Chancellery, nor that the SPD board and executive would back him tightly as they do now.
With it, continuity is assured and policy towards the EU is unlikely to change.
Olaf Scholz was born in the town of Osnabrück as the eldest of three siblings, although he grew up in the blue-collar Hamburg neighborhood of Rahlsted, where his parents worked in the textile industry. He studied law and, before dedicating himself to politics, he worked as a labor lawyer. He joined the SPD when he was still in high school and, as a member of the ‘Jusos’, wrote an article on overcoming capitalism.
Marked by left-wing politics, Scholz is nevertheless a pragmatist with a strong ambition for power and his long career has made him overcome several scandals, such as the bankruptcy of the MSM-Nordbank, the excessive police violence at the G20 summit of Hamburg, the fraud for the refund of fictitious taxes to some banks or the unexpected ruin of Wirecard, the failed German version of Paypal, a scandal that compromises his ministry for not controlling the illegal activities of the directors of that company.
He resides in Potsdam, the capital of the Land of Brandenburg which borders Berlin. Scholz is married to the head of Education in that region, Britta Scholz, although they have no children. Cross country racing and long bike rides help keep you in shape. During the campaign, he has been the candidate who has developed the best image among the electorate. A good part of the voters consider him the legitimate heir to Angela Merkel’s legacy and the one who can best continue his policy.
With him at the head of the German Executive they will not change foreign policy or intrinsically European strategy. Continuity is assured. In order to boost Germany economically after the coronavirus crisis, it defends massive investments by the State, especially in new environmental technologies to face the climate crisis.
To finance it, it wants to call the higher-income citizens to cash, of which it will demand additional taxes if their income exceeds 200,000 euros per year. And under the slogan ‘Respect’ it demands more wage justice, the increase in subsidies for those who depend on social benefits and the establishment of a minimum wage of 12 euros gross per hour.