Olaf Scholz: The most unpopular German Chancellor

Olaf Scholz: The most unpopular German Chancellor

News analysis: Olaf Scholz is the least popular chancellor in 27 years. Confidence in his government declined.

The German government is leaking voters.  Finance Minister Christian Lindner (back), Business and Climate Minister Robert Habeck (center) and Chancellor Olaf Scholz are struggling hard.

The short version

When Schulz, a Social Democrat, became chancellor in December 2021, many Germans felt excitement and optimism: finally, something new had come after Christian Democrat Angela Merkel's 16-year rule.

Many reforms were on the agenda. But just a few months later came the major Russian invasion of Ukraine. Foreign policy and energy policy ended up at the top of the agenda in Germany.

Since then, the government's popularity has fallen like a rock. Now it is Two-thirds of Germans Little or no satisfaction with the work being done.

With the EU elections, the polls got serious. Voters fled the three ruling parties:

  • The Social Democrats (SPD), Green Party and Free Democrats (FDP) were supported by 51% of voters when they were elected in 2021.
  • In the EU elections, they ultimately received just over 30%.

Olaf Scholz is the least popular chancellor since 1997, according to a poll in Germany. Infratest DemapThen Helmut Kohl was on the eve of his rule.

There will be no new elections as in France, writes Aftenposten commentator Frank Rusavik.

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The leaders of the three parties were very happy when they formed a government in December 2021. But just a few months later came the major Russian invasion of Ukraine and the energy crisis. On the right are Robert Habeck (Greens), Olaf Scholz (Social Democrats) and Christian Lindner (Free Democrats).

But what's behind all the dissatisfaction? Here are some explanations.

1. Lack of communication.

The government is unable to communicate. Complaints are often directed at Chancellor Scholz himself. He is described as silent and reserved.

An example of this is Russia's war in Ukraine. For a long time, the issue was left to Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck. He is the Minister for Business and Climate and is known for his special ability to talk to people.

2. Work on heating.

But Habeck also received a real blow when the government introduced the “Heizungsgesetz”, a law that ensures that buildings of the future are heated with renewable energy.

People were angry. The law was hard to understand. What was the consequence for the individual family? Did they have to get rid of the oil boiler and invest in expensive heat pumps? Habeck made no progress with his explanations. A moderated version was later adopted.

3. Internal conflict.

“Whoever asks me to drive gets it.” Olaf Schulz made this statement on the campaign trail several years ago. Now it is used more cynically. Critics point out that he is unable even to keep his government under control. The two junior partners are actually politically distant.

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Example: Liberal Democrat Christian Lindner sits on the purse. This makes it difficult for the Green Party to achieve its climate reforms. This means that the Green Party will not be the green party that voters expect.

Meanwhile, social democrats struggle to deliver on their social promises. Party leader Saskia Eskin blames a lack of funding.

Members of the Liberal Democratic Party are ardent supporters of tax cuts. Many Lindner voters believe he offers too much at the door.

The dispute between the two sides is still escalating. They must agree on a limited budget. Politico He writes that this could mean the fall of the government.

4. They do not deliver the goods.

But voter discontent may not be due to communication or infighting. People don't care about that kind of stuff. Instead, many feel that the government does not know the reality in which people live. Election promises were not fulfilled. Voters want content, not explanations. They are not stupid.

This is what writer Julie Zeh, a member of the Social Democratic Party, said on the talk show Heart Abeer Gallery The day after the EU elections.

She also criticized the election campaign of the Social Democratic Party. Positioning oneself toward the extreme right is not enough. Politicians must fight for what they stand for and show what they want.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is known for his silence. When asked to comment on the dismal outcome of the EU elections, he simply replied:

5. Weak immigration policy.

Just days before the EU elections, a policeman was killed by an Afghan in Mannheim. Police assume the motive was Islamist. In the wake of the murder, the debate on immigration once again dominated the media.

Immigration is important to voters. The hot topic is that people whose asylum applications have been rejected continue to live in Germany. The government's failure to deport them or others without a residence permit is provocative.

6. Worrying about the future.

The fear is that development is now going in the wrong direction. One example of this is how confidence in the German economy has declined.

In 2019, 59 percent believed the German economy was in good shape. Now only 12% answer the same question. One appears Opinion poll The TV channel ZDF did on EU election day.

7. Youth struggle.

For the first time, 16-year-olds can vote. The Greens have fought for this right. Ironically, the party itself was the biggest loser in this year’s EU elections.

In the 16 to 24 age group, the Green Party's numbers fell by a whopping 23 percentage points compared to the last EU elections. On the other hand, the far-right Alternative for Germany party increased its support by 11 percentage points.

Young Germans have become more pessimistic. This is what the annual survey “Jugend in Deutschland” shows. Stress, burnout, and inaction are widespread.

The main concerns are inflation, war and expensive housing. At the same time, it is common for young people to vote against the establishment. As a result, the ruling parties lose votes. Both the AfD and the Christian Democrats win.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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