Finance Minister Olaf Scholz: #WoistScholz?

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Federal Finance Minister 

  • Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has been in office for three months, but has never before declared his deputies in the Budget Committee.
  • Politicians of the opposition strongly criticize him for it.

Born in Freiberg in Saxony, the mechanical engineer (born 1965) was so fascinated by the spirit of social change after the fall of the Berlin Wall that she turned to journalism. She described the change in the East German economy for all-German specialist publishers, after the turn of the millennium she works for The Time , the mirror and the Financial Times Germany . In September 2005 Gammelin co-wrote the Spiegel Bestseller “Die Strippenzieher: Managers, Ministers, Media – How Germany Is Ruled” by Econ Verlag. In the same year she became a correspondent at the capital office of the time , before she joined the Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2008 as EU correspondent in Brussels. In 2014, together with an Austrian colleague, she published “Europe’s Strippenzieher”, the book describing the thriller about saving the Euro and Germany’s role in Europe. In the summer of 2015, she moved to the parliamentary office of the SZ in Berlin, where she writes as deputy editorial director on national and international financial policy.

There are members of the Bundestag who are getting creative to claim their rights. For example, those of the FDP. Last week, when they missed Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz again at the meeting of the Budget Committee, they sent out a digital manhunt, namely tweets in the style of Western posters. Alternatively, Olaf Scholz appeared casually hovering over the backdrop of a metropolis or standing just before landing on the moon. Under the hashtag #WoistScholz the criticism was read: In 80 days around the world, but never in the budget committee. That’s where he should be to inform the parliamentarians who will later decide on the budget.

Olaf Scholz has been in office for three months and has not yet let himself be seen by the deputies. “An impudence” is that, says Sven-Christian Kindler, budget expert of the Greens. The minister’s personal presentation in the committee is “a matter of respect for Parliament”. It has long been advisable to Scholz’s first household, but there was no initial visit.

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Since the re-election of Angela Merkel as Federal Chancellor, the committee has met eight times – without Olaf Scholz. Thus, the Social Democrat sets a new absence record. “Peer Steinbrück joined the Budget Committee after 22 days, Wolfgang Schäuble after 49. Olaf Scholz has not come to this day and he has been in office for over 90 days,” says Kindler.

As a representative Scholz sends state secretaries or employees of the departments. Last Wednesday, therefore, there were violent exchanges. Scholz had been asked in writing to appear personally on the committee to deal with agenda item 5, which was “informed by the Federal Government of its planned measures to directly and permanently stabilize Economic and Monetary Union in the light of recent political developments in Italy and the turmoil in the financial markets “. But Scholz sent his sub-division leader Wilfried Steinheuer, an official who had no political guidelines to announce. Parliamentary finance secretary Bettina Hagedorn made the scandal perfect – with vague statements about the planned reforms of the Eurozone.

When, the Greens wanted to know, was the Minister informed that Angela Merkel would explain her plans for Europe in a newspaper interview? Hagedorn tried, with the general hint that they were “regularly phoning”, which angered the deputies even more. They referred to the information obligation of the Federal Government, according to which they must make all conceptual considerations for Europe also the parliament available. The minister apparently did not receive the message. A week after Merkel, he presented his Europe plans in a magazine dar. That more about the mirror experience than in the meeting of the Committee on Budgets was unacceptable, says Kindler. “If he has been talking to the Chancellor’s Office about the line for several weeks, then it would have been necessary to inform and forward the documents several weeks ago.” Scholz wants to make his inaugural visit to the deputies this Wednesday.

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