Floods: What Gerhard Schröder did higher than Olaf Scholz | EUROtoday

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Fried – view from Berlin
Chancellor in flood: What Gerhard Schröder did higher than Olaf Scholz

Chancellor Olaf Scholz in rubber boots visiting the flood-affected town of Oberröblingen

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (l.) visits the flood-affected city of Oberröblingen at first of January

© Hans Christian Plambeck/laif

Floods in Germany: Everyone remembers Gerhard Schröder’s rubber boots. But his true political braveness was proven elsewhere.

There are sure explanation why the SPD is at odds with Gerhard Schröder. However, the final Social Democratic chancellor earlier than Olaf Scholz did rule in an exemplary method right here and there. For instance, in 2002, quite a few rivers in East Germany overflowed their banks and devastated complete cities, which occurred to occur at a time when Schröder was as much as his neck politically. The Chancellor made a brave determination again then – and by that I do not imply that he trudged via destroyed cities in rubber boots. More on that quickly.

But the rubber boots! Yes, they’re remembered. Perhaps Schröder’s black ones would not have been so noticeable if Saxony’s Prime Minister Georg Milbradt hadn’t been carrying shiny yellow ones, which initially drew consideration to the politicians’ footwear. With his look, Schröder gained a bonus over Edmund Stoiber within the election marketing campaign: his competitor was on trip in Juist, whereas the Chancellor acted like he was caring and walked grimly via Grimma.

Archive image of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Saxony's Prime Minister Georg Milbradt in rubber boots and rain gear

Gerhard Schröder (l.) and Saxony’s then Prime Minister Georg Milbradt (r.) stroll via the flooded streets of the small Saxon city of Grimma on August 14, 2002

© Sebastian Willnow/ ddp

Floods are thought of pure occasions the place political careers can take off or attain their peak. Helmut Schmidt must be talked about, whose administration of the Hamburg storm surge additionally helped along with his political rise in Bonn. Family Minister Anne Spiegel, alternatively, misplaced her Berlin workplace in 2022 attributable to her absence as state minister after the Ahr Valley flood. Matthias Platzeck, as Brandenburg’s atmosphere minister, grew to become dike chief in the course of the Oder flood in 1997, was capable of stabilize the Oder river, however not the SPD, of which he was later briefly head.

By the way in which, the Oder flood is an effective instance of the truth that you do not routinely stay chancellor when you present up in flooded areas: Helmut Kohl visited the dike in Ratzdorf in 1997 and was nonetheless voted out a 12 months later. It does not appear believable that this was solely as a result of he wasn’t carrying rubber boots. Angela Merkel additionally solely confirmed up in sturdy footwear in Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria in 2013 and nonetheless gained the election a number of months later.

Scholz promised assist, however there isn’t any cash within the funds

Which brings us to Olaf Scholz. At the flip of the 12 months, the Chancellor visited flood areas twice inside a number of days, in Lower Saxony after which in Saxony-Anhalt. First he got here in Merkel footwear. But they weren’t robust sufficient to stroll on water following different fashions, and even no less than via water, which is why Scholz did not actually get into dialog with these affected. The second time he wore rubber boots. But now these affected weren’t very pleasant to him.

Scholz promised assist: “We won’t leave anyone alone.” The solely downside is that there’s truly no cash within the funds for this. Here we’re once more with Gerhard Schröder. In 2002 he relied on the solidarity of the Germans and determined to easily postpone a discount in earnings tax that had been determined for 2003 with a view to finance the flood reduction. In addition, he requested firms to pay via the capital tax. That introduced in round seven billion euros. And now think about the gasps within the FDP, the Union, amongst firm bosses and probably additionally amongst farmers and different downtrodden individuals if Olaf Scholz prompt one thing comparable at the moment.

Incidentally, Gerhard Schröder defended the Chancellery in 2002 regardless of this tax coverage. Maybe even due to her – and never due to the rattling rubber boots.

Published in stern 03/24