Times: Who is Olaf Scholz?

A press review featuring Fabio De Masi

Sep 10th, 2021

Times: Who is Olaf Scholz?


"Smurf, security threat or safe pair of hands — Oliver Moody profiles the wily politician presenting himself as the natural successor to Angela Merkel (...)

His critics, however, cast him variously as a colourless sock-puppet in thrall to his party’s left-wing leadership, or an essentially unprincipled figure compromised by a series of regulatory failures and missed opportunities in his ministry.

“Germany is a paradise for money-laundering,” said Fabio de Masi, 41, an MP from the radical leftist Die Linke party who has played a starring role in the Wirecard investigation. “In an age of great upheaval and low interest rates, Mr Scholz has stuck to the debt brake [on public borrowing], which has made Germany an international laughing stock.” (...)

Scholz has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and seems unperturbed. Even De Masi, one of the finance minister’s most strident parliamentary inquisitors, is resigned to his seemingly inexorable rise. “Scholz is so strong because Laschet and Baerbock are so bad,” he said. “Sadly I have to quote Margaret Thatcher: ‘There is no alternative.’ ”"