The New York TimesThe New York Times

'Condemned to lead' Europe, German chancellor struggles for impact

By Erika Solomon

02 Sep 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Olaf Scholz is so dry, he’s been referred to as the “Scholz-o-mat.” The New York Times reports on what many see as the leader’s difficulty becoming the kind of visionary leader the times demand.

BERLIN — Four days after Russian forces rolled into Ukraine, Olaf Scholz, the new German chancellor whose robotic style had earned him the nickname “Scholz-o-mat,” did something out of character: He surprised people.

In a Feb. 27 speech, Scholz proclaimed a “Zeitenwende,” or turning point, and announced German plans to play a more ambitious role in military defense in response to the first land invasion of Europe since World War II.

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