Chancellor: Scholz's summer message to the traffic lights: Please don't be so loud

At times, Chancellor Olaf Scholz's summer press conference even got a lot of fun.

Chancellor: Scholz's summer message to the traffic lights: Please don't be so loud

At times, Chancellor Olaf Scholz's summer press conference even got a lot of fun. First of all, this is not due to the head of government himself, but to the mobile phone of a photographer in the front row.

The melody of the Christmas hit "Jingle Bells" sounds for minutes and forms the soundtrack to the Chancellor's statements about violence in outdoor swimming pools, security promises for Ukraine and immigration. "I don't think this is a cyber attack," Scholz jokes when the source of the whistling is found and he still can't turn it off.

chaos government?

The chancellor rejoices mischievously, loud laughter also in the ranks of the journalists. Actually, the good atmosphere doesn't really go with this event. Traffic light chaos, a coalition against each other, a crisis cabinet: that is the pretty unanimous perception of the Scholz government in the headlines of the last few months.

Scholz himself sees it differently. He once described the month-long dispute over the heating law, with days of marathon negotiations by the coalition and decisions that were repeatedly called into question, as a slight hesitation.

"It's no secret: I don't like the fact that there was such a loud discussion, nor does anyone else," he said. But not much more comes from him in the 105 minutes of this press conference. Especially not about his own responsibility and the recurring allegations of leadership weakness. They bounce off him.

Who is Scholz if not John Wayne?

He said in a recent interview that he was not John Wayne, not a lonely cowboy. Instead, his image of this coalition is that of a family in which compromises have to be made. A journalist asks him which film character he would compare himself to if not a western hero portrayed by John Wayne. Scholz hesitates briefly, grins, and then says. "I could answer that question, but I won't." It couldn't be more typical.

Considering what the chancellor has experienced in recent weeks, he seems pretty relaxed five days before his vacation. In his first year in government, the conflicts in the alliance of SPD, Greens and FDP were still within limits. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its aftermath were the glue. First of all, it was about getting through a winter without a shortage of gas, for which many a gloomy uprising scenario had been painted.

When the topic was over and attention for the war dwindled, the actual projects of this coalition should finally be tackled with courage. Fight against climate change, transformation of the economy, acceleration of planning. "Confidence" was the new buzzword. Scholz even spoke of an impending economic miracle like in the 1950s, of full employment.

Teflon-Scholz

So far, however, the coalition has not managed the transition from crisis to design mode really well. In the polls, their majority has long since crumbled, the AfD has even overtaken the chancellor party SPD and is number two behind the CDU/CSU. Nevertheless, Scholz does not see a crisis in the government and is spreading confidence for the next election.

"Mr. Scholz, your term of office may be over in almost exactly two years, how do you want...", begins a journalist. "Nope," says the Chancellor. Journalist: "Nevertheless, how do you want to be remembered?" Scholz: "I am at the beginning of my work as Federal Chancellor."

The chancellor is sometimes called Teflon-Scholz because of such dialogues. But there is also the other Scholz. The emotional one, who rants from the stage against "shouters" who call him a "warmonger". Most recently at a rally in Falkensee, Brandenburg, in June. So who is the real Scholz? "All variants in which I will meet you are me," he says simply.

Not really ready for vacation

Despite all the quarrels, the chancellor isn't really ready for a vacation, at least he doesn't want to admit it. "I'm looking forward to going on vacation, but it's not like if it wasn't possible now, I couldn't do it," he says. After the EU-Latin America summit early next week, he will probably be gone for about two weeks.

Where it goes is not revealed. To "friendly, European countries," it says only. And what about the traffic light afterwards? "Less loud, but more results," the chancellor hopes.

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