About half of the people of Germany are dissatisfied with his activities
The rating of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is rapidly falling due to the energy crisis that has arisen in the country. Against this background, Western media are actively discussing the possibility of his resignation. They note that in addition to mistakes in the energy sector, the German politician was also not decisive enough in foreign policy. An expert assessed the likelihood of Scholz leaving the post of head of the federal government.
Olaf Scholz risks losing his post if he doesn't “surrender” in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This position was expressed by The Telegraph journalist Daniel Johnson.
coalition, or he capitulates to Putin, – he writes. – Last week, Scholz and his colleagues rejoiced at the collapse of Boris Johnson.
The German politician may well expect the same nightmarish scenario, and his “gloating” about the resignation of the British prime minister may be short-lived, the author of the article believes. In addition, he noted that Germany is experiencing an acute crisis due to a lack of energy resources, in which Berlin depends on Moscow.
The journalist also emphasized that in addition to mistakes in the energy sector, Scholz was also not firm enough in foreign policy. In an attempt to please both NATO and Russia, the German chancellor “abandoned Ukraine and does not provide it with practically any help”, and this, in turn, lowered the authority of Berlin.
But this is the opinion of a journalist (and even a British publication). But what do the German people think? About half of the inhabitants of Germany are dissatisfied with the work of Olaf Scholz as Chancellor of Germany – This is evidenced by a survey by the Insa Public Opinion Research Institute. According to the study, 49% expressed dissatisfaction with the politician's work. Sociologists pointed out that this figure was the highest since he took office as head of the federal government. At the same time, 38% of the respondents still supported Scholz.
“German chancellors are always criticized, – comments “MK” Director of the Center for European Information, Associate Professor at MGIMO Nikolai Topornin. – This is a figure that gets both left and right. And given that the current German government is a coalition government, with both the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), this, of course, imposes serious restrictions on the chancellor's ability to pursue the policy that he sees fit.
For example, it was much easier for Angela Merkel to do this: there was a “Grand Coalition” the CDU-CSU with the Social Democrats (SPD), they had agreement and full cooperation. Here is a tripartite coalition, and small parties have not worked in the Cabinet for a long time, they have very little experience. Therefore, it was initially assumed that the work would be complex. In addition, the work of the government was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, which also led to serious economic consequences due to anti-Russian sanctions, especially on energy. And Germany, as you know, is sensitive to energy supplies from Russia.
According to the expert, all these factors led to the crisis in the German economy. People, of course, are unhappy with this. Gasoline prices are rising, rents have gone up, benefits have been cut, and so on. (although it was Olaf Scholz who advocated for more social benefits). The Germans are not happy with the refugees who flooded the FRG.
“Besides, Olaf Scholz is not such a bright leader as the same Merkel, – the political scientist continues. – He doesn't have much leadership experience. By his nature, he is more of a shadow leader than one who takes the blows of journalists, the public and critics on the front line. Scholz was used to working in a relaxed environment. And then he suddenly needs to answer to the public. Of course, he may not be doing as well as many in Germany would like. But what is, is.
On the other hand, there are no global cracks or disagreements within the ruling coalition that could lead to Scholz's resignation. As far as I know, neither the Greens nor the Free Democrats make any global claims against the Chancellor. After all, they are also members of the Cabinet of Ministers and can also influence the policy pursued. For example, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock is actively involved in foreign policy, Economics Minister Robert Habeck – ecology and economy. Thus, each party is responsible for some direction.
Moreover, the parties negotiated this coalition agreement for a very long time. In fact, the current government has only been in power for a year. It could not yet manifest itself in such a way that the Germans felt some dividends. This does not happen in life, especially under such difficult conditions as now.
In addition, there are currently no bright figures to replace Scholz, the political scientist believes. It must be a person from the SPD – the largest party. But there is no “number one” or even “number two” who could take the place of the current chancellor. We must not forget the fact that it was under the leadership of Scholz that the Social Democrats won and came to power. This hasn't happened for a long time. Within the party, he has a very significant weight.
“There are no grounds for holding any extraordinary elections, – emphasized Nikolai Topornin. – Yes, gasoline prices have risen, inflation has increased, the exchange rate of the national currency has fallen, but the responsibility for these problems can be redirected to the institutions of the European Union. What does the head of the European Commission do there? What does the President of the EU Council do?
It is important to understand that resignation can be done in different ways. It can be voluntary, when the chancellor himself writes a statement that he resigns. Then the question of a new leader arises. Again, we will have to choose the head of the cabinet, negotiate, conclude a coalition agreement, and vote in parliament. Or one of the parties withdraws from the coalition agreement – then those who remain automatically lose their majority in the lower house. And in this case, the opposition can raise the issue of a vote of no confidence at any time. As soon as the incumbent government receives it, the president looks for an opportunity to form a new stable government. If he sees that no one can create it, but the country needs it, then he announces extraordinary parliamentary elections. And a new campaign begins.
However, now there are no grounds for such a campaign either. Any campaign – it is a waste of money and diverting the attention of sitting ministers from more serious matters. And, as I said, no one from the coalition expressed a desire to break it up. On the contrary, everyone is tuned in to solving pressing problems.