Statement to the Bundestag: Scholz remains silent on Lambrecht – Merz calls for impeachment – politics

It’s interesting who Olaf Scholz doesn’t mention in the German Bundestag that day. He thanks Robert Habeck for trying to move away from Russian oil and gas, that he wants to quickly develop wind energy on land and at sea. He even thanks Friedrich Merz for working constructively to jointly anchor the 100 billion special fund for the Bundeswehr in the Basic Law.

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In previous speeches, he also thanked his Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) for her commitment to the special fund and arms deliveries to Ukraine. Now Scholz said no more to him. No thanks, nothing. Are these withdrawal movements?

Lambrecht reads files on the bench of the government, but this day proposes after the declaration of the government of the chancellor, made due to the special summit of the EU on the 30./31. May, more unpleasant news for you. In particular with the appearance of Friedrich Merz: there is now “here a minister who has been dealing more with self-defense than with defense for weeks”, says the leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

Embarrassing details of an ill-informed and disinterested minister have been leaked to the media by the Bundeswehr. He asks the chancellor to separate from Lambrecht. The Chancellor will have to do it anyway, so he better do it now.

Does Lambrecht still have authority?

He said in three years it looks like she did a good job. Scholz is known for her loyalty, she was his choice. But can it be okay? Does she still have the authority in the troupe to materialize her turn politically? The Chancellor is – still – not discouraged. And prefer to draw the main lines.

“Rarely has our cooperation with the economically strong democracies, the G7, been so effective and intensive as in the last days and weeks under our presidency”, he underlines. US President Joe Biden played a major role in it – especially from the perspective of NATO, but in the fall the Democrats are threatened with a defeat in the congressional elections, Donald Trump is working on his return.

Friedrich Merz calls for his dismissal: Christine Lambrecht (SPD), Minister of Defence, leaves the plenary hall at…Photo: Michael Kcaller/dpa

CDU politician attracts FDP and Greens with Jamaica

Consequently, Western unity is not assured, just like that of the Berlin coalition of Scholz. When he looks his FDP colleagues in the eye, “I see a deep desire for Jamaica. And I can understand that,” tweeted CDU MP Christoph de Vries during the debate.

After the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Union is at the top and constantly points out that there is also a mathematical possibility for a coalition in the Bundestag. It’s worth noting that the Greens’ and FDP’s applause for Scholz’s speech sounds almost respectful.

Scholz makes tough announcements – to Putin

Scholz stoically charts his course, but also has some news in his luggage. It reports on numerous letters and discussions with concerned citizens. But he also wanted to make one thing clear: “Helping a country that has been brutally attacked to defend itself is not an escalation. But a contribution to repel the attack – and thus end the violence as soon as possible.”

Vladimir Putin still believes he can bomb a dictated peace. “But he is wrong, just as he was wrong about the determination of the Ukrainians and the unity of our alliances. There will be no dictated peace. Because Ukrainians don’t accept it – and neither do we.”

Only when Putin realizes that he cannot breach Ukraine’s defenses will he be ready to seriously negotiate peace. “That’s why we are strengthening Ukraine’s back, including militarily.” Scholz is making tougher announcements than French President Emmanuel Macron recently. He’s not talking about a face-saving solution, he wants the Russians to withdraw all troops from the pre-February 24 borders. There is no difference with the Union.

ultimate goal; No dictated peace, NATO will not become a war party

The principle that guides it is: thoughtful, weighed and closely coordinated on an international scale. This does not mean that Germany is going it alone, “everything we do must harm Russia more than it does us and our partners”. What makes NATO a party to the war, such as imposing a no-fly zone, is not done. “And we will secure and strengthen our own defense capability.”

More information about the war in Ukraine on Tagesspiegel Plus:

You need special funds for this. After it has not yet been possible to agree with the Union (which is necessary for the amendment of the Basic Law with a two-thirds majority) on the details of the expenditure, the vote must now take place in budget week at the beginning of June. “We are in good talks about this, also with your party, dear Mr. Merz. I am grateful for that,” Scholz says looking at his opponent.

Merz’s facial expression says it all

Merz’s facial expressions and body language clearly show what he thinks of this chancellor. He now has a strong connection on the SPD side, at least with parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich, still looking for contacts to find an agreement.

The biggest round of applause came for Scholz’s welcome to the Finns and Sweden for their desire to join NATO. The motto “One for all and all for one” is what makes the transatlantic alliance so attractive. “Dear friends from Sweden and Finland, you are welcome. With you on our side, NATO and Europe will be stronger and more secure.

Difficult times: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) goes to the government bench in the Bundestag after his government statement.Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Solidarity fund yes, rapid accession of Ukraine to the EU no

He announced an EU solidarity fund for Ukraine. “The reconstruction (…) will cost billions.” At the same time, he clarifies that there can be no quick accession to the EU, Macron first has in mind something like a privileged partnership.

“The fact that there are no shortcuts on the road to the EU is also a requirement of fairness towards the six Western Balkan countries”, stresses Scholz. And almost casually, he says something that Chancellor Angela Merkel has not dared to do recently: a change in the EU treaties – to herald a turning point in Europe as well.

“Citizens want, for example, more coherence in climate protection, progress in European defence, a fairer and more inclusive Europe with more social cooperation.” .

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Scholz also wants a new era in the EU – by changing the contracts?

“If the subject requires it, then we can talk about changing the treaties, including a convention. It’s not taboo. And since this was the most important topic of the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, he stresses that the fight against inflation is also a top priority; that the abolition of the EEG surcharge, the energy package of 300 euros (which pensioners do not receive, as the Union deplores), tax reductions when refueling, social subsidies and the 9 euro ticket in the local transport should not be the last word.

The Chancellery awaits the autumn with great concern when the invoices for ancillary costs arrive. And the traffic light, in particular the FDP, but wants to return to the debt brake for the 2023 budget.

Friedrich Merz accuses the Chancellor of double-dealing in arms deliveries.Photo: IMAGO/Moments-Politiques

Merz dissects Scholz

Friedrich Merz remains true to himself, like last time, he begins his speech with a quote from Scholz. “I will not join a group of people who do something for a short round trip with a photo shoot,” the Chancellor said on RTL on the long-term topic of the Kyiv visit. Who does he mean by that? The heads of government of European countries, his foreign minister or the president of the Bundestag?

This leads to heckling within the SPD parliamentary group. Replica Merz: “You are really on edge after the last election on Sunday.” The Sauerland dissects Scholz again, especially on the subject of arms deliveries, but is not quite up to date itself.

Chancellery: Merz is not in the film

“The truth is that almost nothing has been delivered from Germany in the past few weeks.” There is no ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank, and nothing happens with the exchange of rings. “What double game is really playing out in the federal government?” Anton Hofreiter is right, the problem lies with the chancellery, says Merz.

At the Chancellery they say both are wrong, Merz had to submit outdated speaking notes.

It is said in the environment of Scholz that the Gepard tanks would be delivered after the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Germany – with enough ammunition. But the question of where the ammunition suddenly comes from – so far the transfer from the country of production Switzerland has been blocked – remains unanswered. Training on the complex system can also take a long time.

What is a fact, however, is the expansion of the ring exchange, so there is a lot going on here. Merz may have missed it, but the day before Lambrecht was able to announce that Germany would give the Czech Republic 15 Leopard tanks so that the Czech Republic in turn could deliver heavy equipment that the Ukrainians already know in the area of war. The Ukrainian government now also clearly praises the German contributions.

But the question remains these days how much longer Lambrecht can announce news such as this ring exchange – it depends above all on how long Scholz holds his hands on them.

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