Olaf Scholz: Merkel’s successor nicknamed “Scholz-o-matic” after a press conference in Poland | World | News
Olaf Scholz, 63, succeeded only Angela Merkel, 67, as chancellor last week after Germany spent 16 years being ruled by the country’s first-ever female ruler. Mr Scholz ensured the return of the left-wing Social Democratic Party to the forefront of German politics by defeating Ms Merkel’s replacement at the head of the center-right coalition between the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Union -social, Armin Laschet, 60, in September.
He will now rule Germany in a traffic light coalition, appealing for support from the country’s Green Party and the Liberal Liberal Democratic Party.
The Chancellor, who replaced Merkel for a period in her fourth government, will stand for re-election in autumn 2025.
However, the former SDP secretary general has already left his mark on Germany’s top post after deploying typically vague and stereotypical responses to journalists at a press conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, 53. .
During his joint appearance with Mr Morawiecki on Sunday, Mr Scholz was unable to clarify Berlin’s position on the controversial Russia-Germany pipeline known as Nord Stream 2.
Instead, Mr Scholz reportedly claimed that Germany would no longer use gas as an energy resource in 25 years.
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However, Warsaw opposed the move and called on its partner in the European Union to stifle the gas pipeline project.
But it was not Mr Scholz’s first official visit as Chancellor.
He had already visited the main capital of the EU, Brussels, and the neighboring city of Paris.
The 63-year-old was greeted in Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron, 43, on Saturday with a punch.
When meeting with Mr Macron, who is himself running for re-election next year, the pair were asked about reports that Russia could invade Ukraine and whether they would be prepared to revisit the Maastricht criteria on inflation.
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But as the French President spent three minutes answering questions, Mr Scholz said: “One thing is very clear at the moment: we must cooperate, we must act and strive in Europe.
“But that requires that our borders remain firm, and we are working to defuse the conflict.
“And we want to make sure the future is open for everyone.”
Likewise, the German chancellor proved problematic for journalists facing questions after presenting his government’s coalition treaty earlier this month.
Asked by a journalist from the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf about his role in the riots in Hamburg in 2017, a city of which Mr Scholz was then mayor, the enigmatic German chancellor replied: “We agreed during the coalition talks to do everything to guarantee internal security. .
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“The police will receive all the support they need to make sure that crime doesn’t stand a chance in Germany.”
After viewing footage from Mr Scholz’s first press conference on German TV channels on Sunday, Welt am Sonntag’s Dagmar Rosenfeld said: “The Scholzomat is back.
Mr Scholz’s nickname, far removed from Merkel’s affectionate title of “mutti”, was first used when the Chancellor was SDP general secretary in 2003.
However, while German journalists admit that Mr Scholz’s robotic methods may have helped his career progression, some remain critical of the chancellor’s conduct.
Markus Feldenkirchen of Der Spiegel said: “It lays bare a strange understanding of journalism. “
He added: “And above all a chancellor should aim higher.”