With his experience as a minister, a local official and an impeccable campaign, Olaf Scholz, the unpopular and stubborn Social Democrat, is poised to succeed Angela Merkel at the helm of Germany.
Although there was no surprise, the German parliament is expected to elect, on Wednesday, the finance minister of Merkel, 63, chancellor of Europe’s largest economic power.
Not long ago it was said that Schulz’s Social Democratic Party was dying. However, questhe not only managed to win the legislative elections held in September, but also managed to form an unprecedented ruling coalition with the Greens and Liberals without a hitch.
Schulz is so inspired by Merkel’s style that he imitates her gestures, to the point that the left-wing newspaper Tatz described him as a “changed” version of the German chancellor.
Schulz managed to establish himself, although he is still little known by the Germans themselves.
There is no biography of the future chancellor, although he has held ministerial posts several times and was mayor of Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany.
“The embodiment of a boring politician”
Described by the weekly Der Spiegel as “the embodiment of the boring politician”, Schulz has been at all levels of public affairs since the 1970s.
Olaf Scholz was born in Osnabrück on June 14, 1958, his father was a merchant and his mother a housewife. He joined the Social Democratic Party in 1975 at the age of seventeen, and is more inclined to the party’s left wing. At the time he had long hair, wore sweaters and participated in a large number of peaceful demonstrations.
At the same time, Schulz was continuing his studies in law. In 1985, after going bald, he founded one studio specialized lawyer in labor law.
In particular, he defended the employees in a large number of cause, following the unification of Germany in 1990, in cases of privatization or dissolution of companies in the former East Germany.
His career really took off when the Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder arrived at the Chancellery. In 1998 Schulz was elected a deputy and became the party’s general secretary in 2002.
An annoying nickname
He makes his speeches in a monotone tone that has earned him the nickname “shultsumat” (from a word meaning someone who acts like a robot) much to his irritation. “They’ve always asked me the same questions and I’ve always given the same answers,” he said in his defense. He stressed that he “laughs more than people think”.
“I’m sober, pragmatic and determined. But what drove me in sentiments were politics, “he told Die Zeit magazine a little while ago, calling for a” just society ” in which “everyone has good prospects in their individual life”.
In 2005, the German left was divided by the liberalization of the labor market in a country that was then considered the “sick man of Europe”, which precipitated the defeat of Schröder by Angela Merkel.
Schulz, whose wife Britta Ernst is also minister of politics and education in the Brandenburg region, became minister of labor in 2007 and mayor of Hamburg in 2011.
However, in city, pursued an ambitious policy regarding social housing and early childhood, but significantly increased the budget citizen between 2011 and 2018.
At the federal level, however, he has adhered to his principle: “We only give what we have”.
In 2018, Schulz succeeded Christian Democrat Wolfgang Schäuble in the Ministry of Finance and continued the rigorous financial approach of quest’last.
His centrist stance contributed to his marginalization within his party, to the point that in 2019 activists preferred to exclude him from the party leadership.
However, Schulz managed to make a strong comeback thanks to the pandemic and did not hesitate to deviate from budget lines by relying on generous spending.
Despite the setback of 2019, the Christian Democrats, one of the oldest European parties, has chosen Olaf Scholz to represent him, despite the criticisms addressed to the minister after the resounding failure of the Firecard financial institution.
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