Olaf Scholz is fighting for his credibility in the USA

LThere is a loudspeaker to the left of Olaf Scholz. The chancellor is standing in front of a two-meter-wide plastic wall that separates the zone with the wide seats from the economy section in the federal government’s Airbus A340. Scholz wears jeans, a black T-shirt and a gray sweater. He has put the thumb of his left hand in his trouser pocket and is holding the microphone cable with the remaining fingers.

It’s Sunday evening, Scholz is on his way from Berlin to Washington. A meeting with President Joe Biden is scheduled for the next day. Ten kilometers above the Atlantic, the Chancellor speaks to the journalists traveling with him. At first, pictures can be taken. One must not quote Scholz. This is common in background conversations. Despite the loud noise on the plane, Scholz can be clearly understood through the loudspeaker.

Understood, at least being heard is currently a problem for Scholz. On Sunday it was two months since he was elected chancellor. The head of government and the traffic light coalition started with some credit. The Union licked its wounds after the election defeat, was busy finding its opposition role, the CDU had to elect a new leader once again.

Looking for a consistent course

Then the tide turned quickly. The coalition does not find a uniform course on the central domestic political issue, the introduction of general corona vaccination. Above all, the question arises as to what role the largest member state of the European Union plays in the effort to counter Russia’s military threats against Ukraine with something effective. While London has announced arms deliveries to Kiev and French President Emmanuel Macron has taken over from Scholz’s predecessor Angela Merkel as the key European voice in the struggle with Russian President Putin, the German chancellor has been little heard in the conflict. The fact that he has a soft voice seems to have a political dimension.


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