Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Welcome to the West’s Olaf Scholz era

By John Kampfner

25 Aug 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. Olaf Scholz, Germany's ninth chancellor, ascended to power in December 2021, primarily due to a pragmatic and reserved approach. He is described as an influential figure in progressive European political circles, symbolizing a possible model for centrist governance amidst rising far-right sentiments.

It might be a slight exaggeration to say that the future of progressive politics in Europe rests on the shoulders of one man. It would be no exaggeration to say that this man bears few characteristics of a potential savior.

Olaf Scholz took office as postwar Germany’s ninth chancellor in December 2021 by saying as little of note as possible. During the election campaign of that year, he stood and watched as his two rivals from the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the Greens repeatedly ran into trouble.

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