Scholz was from May to October 2001 interior minister of Hamburg , October 2002 to March 2004 SPD General Secretary , from November 2007 to October 2009 Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and from March 2011 to March 2018 First Mayor of Hamburg. From April 2000 to June 2004 and from November 2009 to March 2018 he was chairman of the SPD Hamburg , from November 2009 to December 2019 he was one of the deputy federal chairmen of the SPD. From February to April 2018 he led the party provisionally . From March 14, 2018 he was Deputy Chancellor andFederal Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany , from October 26, 2021 until his election as Federal Chancellor.
Origin, professional career
Family, studies and work
Scholz grew up as the oldest of three children in Hamburg-Rahlstedt . His parents worked in the textile industry. His brother Jens Scholz (born September 7, 1959 in Osnabrück) is an anesthesiologist and has been chairman of the board of the Schleswig-Holstein University Medical Center since 2009 , the youngest brother Ingo Scholz is division manager in an IT company in Hamburg. Scholz was baptized in the Christian church in Hamburg-Ottensen , later resigned from the Protestant church and has since been without a denomination .
In the first school year Olaf Scholz attended elementary school in the district Bekassinenau Oldenfelde and then moved on to elementary school in the district Großlohering Grosslohe . After high school in 1977 at the high school Heegen in the district Rahlstedt-Ost he started in 1978 at the University of Hamburg , a study of the jurisprudence in the context of single-stage legal education . He completed this in 1984. He then completed his community service . As a student, he lived in a shared apartment with the later State Councilor Andreas Rieckhof .
Scholz has been admitted to the bar since 1985 . He is a partner in the law firm Zimmermann, Scholz und Partner in Hamburg, until his election to the Bundestag in 1998 he was a specialist lawyer for labor law and from 1990 to 1998 he was also a lawyer at the Central Association of German Consumer Cooperatives .
He was a member of the Hamburg initiative Mehr Zeit für Kinder . From November 2006 on, Scholz was the patron of the Education Against Crime project - a violence- prevention and school-promoting measure in a socially disadvantaged district of Hamburg. The project arose in 2005 from a student education movement in the neighborhood that Olaf Scholz supported as a patron.
Scholz joined the SPD in 1975 as a high school student, where he got involved with the Jusos (abbreviation for Young Socialists ), the youth organization of the SPD. From 1982 to 1988 he was Deputy Federal Juso Chairman, from 1987 to 1989 also Vice President of the International Union of Socialist Youth . In his Juso time he supported the Freudenberger Kreis (the Marxist Stamokap wing of the Juso university groups ) as well as the magazine spw and advertised in articles for "overcoming the capitalist economy". In it, Scholz criticizes the “aggressive-imperialist NATO”, the Federal Republic as the “European stronghold of big business” and the social-liberal coalition, which puts “bare maintenance of power above any form of substantive dispute”. On January 4, 1984, Scholz and other Juso leaders met in the GDR with Egon Krenz , the secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and the member of the Politburo of the SED Central Committee , Herbert Häber . In 1987 Scholz crossed the inner-German border again and stood up for disarmament agreements as Juso vice- president at an FDJ peace rally in Wittenberg .
Leadership positions in the SPD
District and state chairman in Hamburg (1994 to 2004/2009 to 2018)
Scholz was chairman of the SPD district association Altona from 1994 to 2000 and chairman of the SPD Hamburg from 2000 to 2004 . From November 6, 2009 to March 24, 2018, he held the latter office again. The Hamburg regional association confirmed Scholz in his position in 2012 with 94.2 percent, 2014 with 94.8 percent and 2016 with 97.4 percent of the votes.
Party Executive (2001 to 2019) and Secretary General (2002 to 2004)
From 2001 to 2019 he was a member of the SPD party executive in various functions .
From October 20, 2002 to March 21, 2004 (at that time the red-green government of Schröder II ruled ) Scholz was General Secretary of the SPD. Elected with 91.3 percent of the vote at the 2002 party congress, he received only 52.6 percent when he was re-elected in 2003. After Gerhard Schröder's resignation as SPD chairman, Scholz also resigned.
Deputy Federal Chairman (2009 to 2019)
In November 2009, shortly after the 2009 federal election , the SPD federal party congress elected him Deputy Federal Chairman with 85.7 percent of the vote. In December 2011 he was re-elected with 84.9 percent of the vote, in November 2013 with 67.3 percent of the vote, in December 2015 with 80.2 percent of the vote and in December 2017 with 59.2 percent of the vote. In 2009, 2013 and 2017 he achieved the worst result of all the Federal Deputy Chairmen and the second worst in 2011 and 2015. After he was defeated in the election for the SPD chairmanship in 2019 , he no longer ran for office as deputy federal chairman.
Acting Party Chairman (2018)
After Martin Schulz's resignation , on February 13, 2018, Scholz took over the party chairmanship as the longest-serving deputy party chairman by decision of the party presidium. At the same time, the parliamentary group leader Andrea Nahles was nominated by the presidium as a regular successor. There had been legal and political objections to her immediate appointment as acting party chairman. Scholz's acting chairmanship ended with Nahles' election as party leader on April 22, 2018.
Candidate for party chairmanship (2019)
In June 2019, Scholz initially ruled out a candidacy for the party chairmanship following the resignation of Andrea Nahles . He explained that a simultaneous activity as Federal Minister of Finance and party chairman was “not possible in terms of time”. In August Scholz announced that he wanted to run for party chairmanship in a duo with Klara Geywitz . He justified this with the fact that many of those he considered suitable did not run for office and a resulting responsibility. The team of Klara Geywitz and Olaf Scholz received after the first round of the membership decision on October 26, 2019, with 22.7 percent, the highest share of the six candidate duos standing for election. It qualified for the runoff election with the second-placed team Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans , which received 21.0 percent of the vote. On November 30, 2019, it was announced that Esken and Walter-Borjans had received 53.1 percent of the vote in the runoff election, Geywitz and Scholz 45.3 percent.
Candidate for Chancellor (2021)
On August 10, 2020, Scholz was nominated as a candidate for chancellor for the federal election in 2021 by the SPD party executive at the suggestion of chairmen Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans . At the time, he was the most popular SPD politician in polls, but was controversial among the left wing of the party. At a party conference held online on May 9, 2021, Scholz was confirmed as candidate for chancellor with 96.2 percent of the votes cast. The SPD won on September 26, 2021 with 25.7 percent of the second vote, ahead of the Union with 24.1 percent.
Member of the Bundestag
On October 13, 2005 he was elected First Parliamentary Managing Director of the SPD parliamentary group. He held this office until his appointment as Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs on November 21, 2007. His successor was Thomas Oppermann . In addition, until he joined the federal government, Scholz was a member of the parliamentary control committee of the Bundestag, which oversees the work of the secret services .
On October 22, 2009, the SPD parliamentary group elected him one of its nine deputy chairmen. Scholz resigned this office together with the Bundestag mandate on March 10, 2011 after he had been elected First Mayor of Hamburg three days earlier.
In the federal election in 2021 , Scholz won the direct mandate in the constituency of Potsdam - Potsdam-Mittelmark II - Teltow-Fläming II with 34.0 percent of the first votes. The Brandenburg state list, which he cited, accounted for 29.5 percent of the second votes.
Hamburg Senator for the Interior (2001)
On May 30, 2001, Scholz succeeded the resigned Interior Senator Hartmuth Wrocklage in the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg ( Senate Runde ) led by Mayor Ortwin Runde . His term of office ended after the state elections on September 23, 2001 with the election of Ole von Beust ( CDU ) as First Mayor on October 31, 2001. His successor in the office of Interior Senator was Ronald Schill ( Rule of Law Party ).
In July 2001, as Hamburg Senator for the Interior, Scholz introduced the compulsory administration of emetics to preserve evidence from alleged drug dealers . The senators of the coalition partner at the time, the Green Alternative List (GAL), supported this measure.
Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs (2007 to 2009)
After Franz Müntefering's withdrawal from the Federal Cabinet ( Merkel I Cabinet ), Scholz was Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs from November 21, 2007, until a federal government without the participation of the SPD ( Merkel II Cabinet ) was appointed after the 2009 Bundestag election on October 28, 2009 .
First Mayor of Hamburg (2011 to 2018)
State election 2011
As the top candidate of the SPD, Scholz went to the early general election on February 20, 2011, which had become necessary after the breakdown of the black-green coalition in November. In the election, the SPD received an absolute majority with 62 members out of 121. At the constituent meeting of the Hamburg citizenship on March 7, 2011, Scholz was elected First Mayor with 62 of the 118 votes cast ( Senate Scholz I ), although the SPD MP Frank Wiesner was absent. So at least one member of the opposition must have voted for Scholz.
As the first mayor of Hamburg, Scholz was a member of the main committee and presidium of the German Association of Cities . His citizenship mandate, which he first won in the 2011 election, has been suspended since his election as mayor, as the Hamburg constitution stipulates the separation of parliamentary mandate and government office.
Economic aid for Hapag-Lloyd
On March 28, 2012, at the instigation of Scholz and with the votes of the parties SPD and Die Linke, the Hamburg citizenship approved 420 million euros for a further share purchase in the shipping company Hapag-Lloyd , which increased the city's shares from 23.6 percent to 36.9 Percent were increased. Michael Behrendt explained in 2018 that those involved had assumed in 2012 that around 20,000 jobs were attached to the then ailing company. This made the city of Hamburg the largest single shareholder in Hapag-Lloyd AG via HGV with 39.6 percent.
Citizenship election 2015
In the 2015 general election , the SPD achieved 45.6 percent. Despite a clear gap to other parties - the CDU was the second strongest force with 15.9 percent - the SPD lost its absolute majority. The SPD then formed a government coalition with the Greens . In April 2015, the Hamburg city council re-elected Scholz as First Mayor. With 75 votes, he received three votes more than the coalition SPD and Green seats. In March 2018, he resigned to join the newly formed federal government as finance minister. His successor in the office of First Mayor was Peter Tschentscher (SPD).
Warburg Bank's cum-ex business
Since 2016, the Hamburg tax office could have reclaimed 47 million euros from the Hamburg-based private bank MMWarburg & CO , which the bank had received through illegal dividend stripping (Cum-Ex), but allowed this million claim to become statute-barred. Scholz's role is controversial. In 2020, NDR and Die Zeit reported that Scholz had met three times with the co-owner of Warburg Bank, Christian Olearius , on the matter during his time as the first mayor of Hamburg . Since Olearius refused to refund the tax, Scholz referred him to the Finance Senator of Hamburg as the usual official channel after these talks. Scholz subsequently stated that he could no longer remember the content of the conversation. From the seized diaries of Olearius it emerges that Scholz reacted cautiously, made no promises and expressly did not adopt Olearius' opinion or forward the paper to the competent authority himself, “because this was solely due to the fact that the first person forwarded it Mayor could have given cause for interpretation ”.
In April 2020 and the beginning of 2021, the bank settled tax debts totaling 155 million euros, including the 47 million euros obtained through Cum-Ex. She first presented this as threatening her existence, then as statute-barred or waived. In August 2021, the responsible department head of the Hamburg tax office for large companies, as a witness before the parliamentary committee of inquiry of the Hamburg citizenship, denied any influence by Scholz or other political actors on the case. There was no contact between her and other people or authorities in this regard. She had no knowledge of the meetings between Scholz and the co-owners of Warburg Bank.
G20 summit 2017
Scholz's role in the planning and preparation of the 2017 G20 summit , which took place in Hamburg, is controversial . He uttered the sentences “Don't worry: We can guarantee security” and “We also hold the port birthday every year. There will be people who will be amazed on July 9th that the summit is already over. ”However, there were riots and looting. In view of these events, Scholz saw no reason to resign: "If I had died from the G20, I would have resigned". In the discussion about possible criminal offenses by police officers in the context of the G20 summit - 115 preliminary investigations were opened in this regard, 92 of them for bodily harm in office - Scholz said: "There was no police violence, this is a denunciation that I firmly reject."
Housing construction was one of Scholz's central promises in the 2011 election campaign. In the year he took office, he negotiated the contract for Hamburg to strengthen new housing construction. The aim was to increase to 6,000 new apartments per year by 2014 with a 30 percent share of publicly subsidized apartments in rental apartments for households with medium and low incomes. The goal was achieved in 2013. The tenants' association and the party Die Linke still consider the increase to be too small compared to the population growth in Hamburg.
Federal Minister of Finance (2018-2021)
With the formation of a coalition of CDU , CSU and SPD at the federal level ( Cabinet Merkel IV ), Olaf Scholz was appointed Federal Minister of Finance and Deputy Chancellor on March 14, 2018 . He had previously negotiated the coalition agreement for the SPD and successfully campaigned for the approval of the SPD base for the grand coalition (GroKo) in the member vote as acting party leader .
In January 2019, a possible merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank was publicly discussed. Scholz had proposed this again, but was largely rejected by experts and commentators. The resulting corporate structure would be “ too big to fail ”.
In the initial phase of the corona pandemic , Scholz's statement attracted attention that the state had cushioned the economic restrictions triggered by these "bazooka", so that everyone - companies, employees, families - was as safe as possible through this difficult time come". The first aid package drawn up by the Federal Ministry of Finance in March 2020 provided, among other things, 3.5 billion euros for acute measures, including the development of a vaccine, 50 billion euros for small businesses and self-employed people and 100 billion euros for an economic stabilization fund.
Scholz is criticized in the context of the bankruptcy of the payment service provider Wirecard , as there have been serious misconduct by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Critics complain that the Federal Ministry of Finance is responsible for monitoring BaFin. On January 29, 2021, Scholz announced that he wanted to fill the presidential post and initiated reforms.
In June 2021 in St Ives , the G7 agreed on a worldwide minimum tax proposed by Scholz of at least 15 percent for multinational companies. The main reason why all G7 member states were in favor was that Scholz was able to convince US President Joe Biden , unlike his predecessor Donald Trump , of the minimum taxation.
Also in June 2021, Scholz had the Federal Central Tax Office purchase information about potential tax evaders from Dubai. It is data from millions of taxpayers and contains information on assets hidden from the tax authorities in Dubai. The purpose of the data is to uncover cross-border tax offenses on a significant scale.
Federal Chancellor (since 2021)
In the federal election on September 26, 2021, the SPD emerged as the strongest party with Scholz as candidate for chancellor. The following exploratory talks led to a traffic light coalition with the Greens and the FDP . His cabinet consists equally of women and men. On December 8, 2021, Scholz was elected Chancellor with a majority of 395 votes . A total of 707 of the total of 736 members of the Bundestag cast their votes. He is the ninth Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and the first without a denomination. When they took office, only Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard were 73 and 66 years old, respectively, than Scholz, who became chancellor at 63.
Olaf Scholz is part of the politically more conservative wing of the SPD.
During the chancellorship of Gerhard Schröder (1998 to 2005) he campaigned for his reform policy and was added to the group of "Schröderians". Scholz described the plans for Agenda 2010 in March 2003 as "social democratic policy" and as "sensible, balanced and therefore also permissible". He was also considered a pragmatist and, for example, as Minister of Labor in the grand coalition 2005–2009, helped to enforce the pension at 67 . In 2007, Scholz wanted to adhere to more stringent reasonableness rules for the unemployed and rejected calls by the SPD party left for a general increase in the Hartz IV standard rates . At that time, Scholz declared that he wanted to defend the core of the Agenda reforms against criticism from unions and from within his own party base.
In 2021 he opposed proposals by the CDU-led Ministry of Economic Affairs to raise the retirement age to 68 years. He also called for the pension level to be stabilized at 48 percent by 2040 with the help of tax subsidies, not just by 2025, as was previously the case. Scholz said: "If there are many jobs with decent wages in Germany, the pension is secure."
As Secretary General in 2002, Scholz campaigned for an expansion of all-day care for children. Specifically, every fifth child under the age of three should be given a daycare place and all-day schools should be expanded. During the corona pandemic, he demanded a one-off payment for families of 300 euros per child in May 2020.
After he joined the SPD in 2006 for the introduction of a nationwide statutory minimum wage of around EUR 6.50 and his party thus failed due to the resistance of the CDU, from 2007 he stood up as Minister of Labor for a minimum wage through the inclusion of industries in the Posted Workers Act one. During the exploratory talks in Jamaica in 2017 , Scholz called for the statutory minimum wage to be raised to 12 euros. In 2021 he again advocated an increase in the minimum wage to 12 euros.
Economic and financial policy
Scholz has been campaigning for a financial transaction tax for several years . Experts criticized parts of his plans because they believed that it would primarily affect small shareholders. In December 2019, he pushed the introduction of this tax at EU level. According to the draft, share purchases should be taxed when it comes to shares in companies that are worth at least one billion euros. Hermann-Josef Tenhagen criticized this version of the transaction tax because the underlying idea of taxing the wealthy more heavily was in fact turned into the opposite. In 2020 , an expert report by the Institute for the World Economy commissioned by the federal government confirmed the same deficiencies in the tax concept that Tenhagen had already pointed out.
Since 2018, Scholz has been campaigning for a global minimum tax that is intended to prevent ever lower tax rates around the world. In the summer of 2021, 131 countries under the umbrella of the industrialized countries organization OECD initially agreed, and the G20 countries agreed at the beginning of July 2021 . The agreement was largely attributed to the work of Scholz.
Environment and climate policy
In September 2019, Scholz negotiated the climate package in a key role for the SPD . He said: “What we have presented is a great achievement”, whereas climate scientists almost unanimously criticized the result as insufficient.
The revised Climate Protection Act brought into the cabinet by Svenja Schulze and Olaf Scholz provides for a 65 percent reduction in CO 2 emissions by 2030, an 88 percent reduction by 2040 and climate neutrality by 2045.
In May 2021, Scholz proposed the establishment of an international climate club , which should serve to develop common minimum standards for climate policy measures and a coordinated approach. In addition, uniform rules for the CO 2 accounting of goods should apply among members .
Because of its automated and mechanically acting choice of words in press conferences was (first by Scholz media Jan. horse in the period of 13 March 2003) dubbed "Scholzomat". In 2013 he said that he found the attribution "very appropriate".
- Senate Runde , Hamburg Senator for the Interior, 2001
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|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German politician (SPD), Member of the Bundestag, Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany|
|BIRTH DATE||June 14, 1958|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Osnabrück|