Germany and a change of era that worries the rest of Europe

After a year of war, the results of German policy in Ukraine are mixed, although at the same time surprising (Reuters) (ANNEGRET HILSE /)

Days after the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Olaf Schölz delivered a speech from the podium bundestag that was immediately perceived as historic. He german chancellor promised a change of era, but after 12 months of those promises, the results of German politics are mixed, but at the same time surprising.

The war of aggression unleashed by Vladimir Putin Ukraine forces Europe to lean towards a “new era”. He social democratwhich loads from the start with the heavy legacy of Angela Merkel, supports the doubt about his ability to materialize the demands of his nation and the community bloc.

The immediate challenges for Scholz, who commands the country that largely directs the fate of the European Union, continue to be marked by the need to break away from russian gaschange the military doctrine to be able to send heavy war equipment to Ukraine, and accelerate the investment of 100,000 million euros to modernize and recreate its own army.

Scholz promised on February 27, 2022 a “Zeitenwende”, a word that synthesizes the “change of era”. One year after the Russian attack, the foreign minister returned to the same scenario to underline, not only the lines that justify the brutal turnaround, but also to emphasize that a “peace agreement above the Ukrainians” should not be allowed.

German Chancellor (Reuters)
The German Chancellor (Reuters) (ANNEGRET HILSE /)

The Social Democratic leader accepts the central role of the country in the “future” security guarantees for Ukraine and at the same time for the entire European Union.

The wink of the German also reaches Washington. From Berlin he urged Chinasuspected by the White House of wanting to deliver arms to Moscow. “My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops. And do not supply the Russian aggressor with weapons,” Scholz warned.

Despite the magnitude of these unexpected external links, the question remains as to whether Scholz will be able to project himself above the internal tensions between the three coalition parties. This will be the condition to seal his leadership as Chancellor, sometimes overshadowed by the inevitable comparison with his predecessor.

Faced with this, the results of the elections of berlin a few days ago sounded like a wake-up call for the government: after more than 20 years of reign in the German capital, the Socialist Party (SPD) was beaten by almost ten points by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)identified with Angela Merkel.

However, the main victim was the Liberal Party (FDP). The bad election excluded them from the Berlin parliament, being their fifth consecutive fall at the polls in a year. They had already had to say goodbye last March to the Saarland Senatethen in October of lower saxony. They also lost their place in the government of schleswig holstein and the one of North Rhine-Westphalia.

This panorama plunges the Scholz government into a mystery that is difficult to clear up, something that sets off internal and European alarms. Analysts understand that the time for appeasement within the coalition is over. This was observed, for example, by the vice-president of the FDP, Wolfgang Kubickithe same afternoon of the Berlin elections.

While all this is happening, the crisis derived from the Russo-Ukrainian war requires Scholz to build on a certain weakness inherited from the country, in many cases, as a consequence of the Second World War and the subordination to the victorious powers, the United States and Russia. : military fragility, a country lying in NATO, and highly dependent on Moscow’s energy supply.

Somewhat anxious, his European partners hope more than ever that Scholz will resolve the internal vacillations, some of them due to his own limitations, but many others the product of the country’s historical contradictions. Europe hopes that Germany, with great leadership, is part of the solution and not the problem.

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