Germany’s missteps in Ukraine have left Scholz fighting for his political life

Difficult though it may be to believe, there is chaos at the top of the German government over its mishandling of the war in Ukraine. Germany’s defence minister, Christine Lambrecht of the Social Democratic party, has quit her post after the most extraordinary series of unforced errors.  The war has brought all of this to a head. It has exposed Europe’s lax security and complacency. But German defence has been in a league of its own for many years. Over the course of the war, there has been no end to the amount of troubling information that has emerged.    German authorities so underrated the chance of war, the country’s intelligence chief

Germany’s military muddle over Ukraine

The reluctance of chancellor Olaf Scholz to provide heavy weapons to Ukraine is now coming under increasing fire from abroad and within Germany itself. Prominent politicians from the liberal FDP and the Greens, the coalition partners of Scholz’s Social Democrats in Berlin, have criticised the chancellor for his lack of leadership, and complain that Germany is lagging behind other major western powers in supplying weapons. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the flamboyant chairwoman of the defence committee in the German parliament, hit out at the chancellor’s ‘deafening silence’ on the subject. German media have claimed that a list of available military equipment offered by the German defence industry had been cut back by

Germany’s progressives have a Putin problem

Eighty-nine years ago this week, the German Social Democrats in the Reichstag cast the only votes opposing Adolf Hitler’s dictatorial power grab, the Enabling Act. Today’s SPD members often cite that moment as the proudest in their party’s 146-year history. With a memory like that, there is something awkward about the current SPD Chancellor’s position. Olaf Scholz is now having to come to terms with decades of SPD appeasement towards the dictator in Moscow. Before Putin’s invasion, Russian doves could be found across the German political spectrum, but Scholz’s now-ruling SPD has an especially long and developed history of Kremlin cosiness. The party has been at the centre of German

The sad circus of the German election

The German election campaign has been entirely lacking in substance. Laschet, Baerbock, Scholz: none seem to grip the public’s attention. None are good enough to stand out, yet none are bad enough to drop out as the media and the opposition struggle to land definitive blows. Amid the monotony of political circus and sclerosis, the German press’s tactics are becoming increasingly outlandish, as two 11-year-old children asking questions about land requisition processes on television showed. A particular segment on the talk show Late Night Berlin is responsible: the idea is that children ask politicians questions. In the last episode, broadcast on Tuesday, Merkel’s would-be successor Armin Laschet was made to