Germany: Olaf Scholz To Enter Political Fray

But that doesn’t mean they had a spat, Olaf insisted — both men think deep down that they love each other. Olaf Scholz told German media Wednesday that he will remain minister of economic…

Germany: Olaf Scholz To Enter Political Fray

But that doesn’t mean they had a spat, Olaf insisted — both men think deep down that they love each other.

Olaf Scholz told German media Wednesday that he will remain minister of economic affairs and labor. He emphasized that Berlin should remain a financially strong country in order to benefit the EU. The young politician has big plans for the future of Europe.

While many people in Germany are witnessing what they believe to be Germany’s emergence from a debt-ridden past, an increasingly prominent figure in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing party is preparing to step down.

Olaf Scholz, the third member of Germany’s Social Democratic Party to get behind Ms. Merkel for her fourth term, said Wednesday he will not run for chancellor in a party election that is due by the end of June, a blow to the chancellor’s ambitions.

Mr. Scholz has long been a potential challenger to Ms. Merkel’s leadership of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and conservatives, particularly as he entered his political thirties. His decision to choose economic reform over leadership is a major win for her conservatives and political survival of a more confrontational figure who would have weakened her authority.

In his press conference in the western city of Essen, Mr. Scholz said: “I don’t think I am ready yet to be chancellor of the German state.”

The son of an East German car-parts maker and a schoolteacher, Scholz was appointed head of the trade union IG Metall in 2009, becoming the youngest representative of the powerful labor union in the federal parliament at 38. He campaigned on economic reforms and has pursued them through CDU-led governments in Berlin.

Ms. Merkel’s win was to be little surprise in the political scientist’s eyes given her dominance of the CDU and Mr. Scholz’s social liberalism. While conservatives have adopted tough immigration and security policies under Mr. Scholz, he has made his own determined efforts to open up the labor market, especially for young people.

Despite his admirers, Mr. Scholz’s future may be limited if he wants to become chancellor. An association of German business leaders welcomed his decision not to run for the top job.

“He has shown political and economic courage and has taken strong decisions,” said Jochen Homann, president of the German-American Chamber of Commerce.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, who until this month had served as Minister of the Interior under Mr. Scholz, became the first leading conservative to publicly back a Scholz challenger, putting him on the top of the list for an open leadership election.

“The Social Democrats knew they were taking an enormous risk by giving him the minister of economy and labor,” said Mr. Friedrich, who like Ms. Merkel is a Christian Democrat.

While many people in Germany are witnessing what they believe to be Germany’s emergence from a debt-ridden past, an increasingly prominent figure in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing party is preparing to step down.

Olaf Scholz, the third member of Germany’s Social Democratic Party to get behind Ms. Merkel for her fourth term, said Wednesday he will not run for chancellor in a party election that is due by the end of June, a blow to the chancellor’s ambitions.

Mr. Scholz has long been a potential challenger to Ms. Merkel’s leadership of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and conservatives, particularly as he entered his political thirties. His decision to choose economic reform over leadership is a major win for her conservatives and political survival of a more confrontational figure who would have weakened her authority.

In his press conference in the western city of Essen, Mr. Scholz said: “I don’t think I am ready yet to be chancellor of the German state.”

The son of an East German car-parts maker and a schoolteacher, Scholz was appointed head of the trade union IG Metall in 2009, becoming the youngest representative of the powerful labor union in the federal parliament at 38. He campaigned on economic reforms and has pursued them through CDU-led governments in Berlin.

Despite his admirers, Mr. Scholz’s future may be limited if he wants to become chancellor. An association of German business leaders welcomed his decision not to run for the top job.

“He has shown political and economic courage and has taken strong decisions,” said Jochen Homann, president of the German-American Chamber of Commerce.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, who until this month had served as Minister of the Interior under Mr. Scholz, became the first leading conservative to publicly back a Scholz challenger, putting him on the top of the list for an open leadership election.

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