Olaf Scholz enters his first comeback rested and confident. “The times are serious, but we have a good chance of getting out of it, even if it will be complicated”, declared, Thursday August 11, the German Chancellor at the start of a press conference of almost two hours during which he submitted, without a tie and visibly sure of himself, to the often critical questions of journalists.
The chancellor, in office for eight months, was expected both on international news, which is creating already palpable tensions on the economy and the social situation in Germany, and on his potential personal involvement in a politico-financial affair that he has been hanging around since his years as mayor of Hamburg (2011-2017). He is suspected of having intervened to prevent the Warburg bank, condemned in the “CumEx” scandal, from reimbursing part of the sums due to the tax authorities. At the beginning of the month, the announcement of the discovery of 214,800 euros in small denominations in the safe of one of his former relatives of the local SPD (social democrats) revived the affair.
Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz caught up in the “CumEx” scandal
Questioned almost a dozen times on the subject yesterday, the Chancellor kicked into touch with laconic answers. Did he know something? : ” Nothing. “Where does this money come from? ” No idea. He recalled that he would testify on August 19 before the Hamburg commission of inquiry (“I am delighted”) and specified that for two and a half years, “no information indicates that there has been a political intervention” in this case. The case occupied a large part of this back-to-school conference, without Mr. Scholz being able to really convince.
For the rest, he took over the communication codes of Angela Merkel, who often repeated that “from calm comes strength”. While several of his ministers expect social tensions at the start of the school year because of the soaring cost of living, Mr. Scholz has ruled out this scenario insofar as, he promises, no one will be left behind. account. Addressing in particular “those who have very little”, he announced a new aid package, without specifying either their extent, their nature or the timetable.
“It won’t be easy”
“I am confident: the citizens of this country are smart, they know it will not be easy. But our message is clear: we are preparing for this and we will do everything to help individuals and businesses. With the same serenity, he affirms that “the gas will not be lacking”. According to him, the two liquefied natural gas terminals currently under construction in the north of the country will be ready this winter. In the field of energy, he believes in European solidarity.
You have 55.61% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.