Germany Sánchez supports a Scholz in difficulties: "In Berlin and Brussels you will have me by your side"

When Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets with a European colleague to talk about bilateral or community issues, he does so at the headquarters of the Government and on business days

Germany Sánchez supports a Scholz in difficulties: "In Berlin and Brussels you will have me by your side"

When Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets with a European colleague to talk about bilateral or community issues, he does so at the headquarters of the Government and on business days. With President Pedro Sánchez he has made an exception this Saturday that leads us to think about which came first, the chicken or the egg. In the final stretch of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, but coinciding above all with the congress that the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is holding this weekend in Berlin, Scholz and Sánchez met to address relevant European issues and with special attention to the negotiation of the multi-annual financial framework and the migration pact, according to Moncloa sources.

The meeting, however, seemed more like a gesture of support between social democrats in serious difficulties. It was held in the room where some 600 SPD delegates meet at their congress and after those conversations, of which nothing has emerged from the German side, Sánchez appeared on the platform as a guest. The "comrade" Pedro, newly elected president of Spain - as he was introduced and in Spanish by the co-president of the SPD, Lars Klingbeil - was received with a standing ovation.

"Dear Olaf, today and always, here, and in Brussels, you will have me by your side. Count on me, count on the Spanish socialists to fight all the battles and challenges that unite us," said Sánchez without going into the details because he time would have run out. Of course, he encouraged him, perhaps without knowing it, to do what the Socialist Youth (Jusos) and the left wing of the SPD blame Scholz for. "The right thing to do is not to give in to melancholy or let yourself be carried away by inertia, but to have the courage to promote change, as your motto says: Germany. Better. Fair," he declared.

Because for Sánchez, "if there is something revolutionary in politics, it is doing the right thing and the right thing to do in times of uncertainty and great transformations like the ones we are experiencing is to show initiative and determination." Scholz has not shown either and although there are no deep fissures in the SPD beyond disappointment, the polls accuse him. Scholz is the most unpopular Social Democratic chancellor on record. Only 20% approve of his work and the party is only around 14% in voting intention. In some federal states in the east of the country it is even below the 5% threshold required by law to access parliaments.

Scholz needs an injection of encouragement and of the handful of social democratic leaders in office, the most suitable nurse was Sánchez. "Spanish socialists owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the SPD for promoting and strengthening social democracy in Spain and because the SPD contributed decisively to strengthening democracy in my country. We will never forget that example of fraternity in the darkest moment. So, "I do not address you as a Spanish social democrat, but as another member of this great family called SPD, I consider myself one of yours," he said.

Sánchez did not talk about the situation in Spain and tiptoed internationally. He focused on the threat of the far right and denounced "the virus of hate and fear that is invading the traditional right in many parts of Europe and the world." He stated that in "the past, conservatives simply sought to preserve the status quo" and that that could be harmful but not lethal. "Now the real threat is different: they are not simply seeking to preserve something. They are seeking, driven by the extreme right, to throw us into the ashes of the past. And that can be lethal for democracy," he warned.

He added, in this context, that "Spain said with the force of reason and the power of votes no to regression and fear, to the past and involution. Today Spain has a new progressive government and from that government we will defend with conviction the Europe open, supportive and committed to the Human Rights that others want to eliminate."

The battle that the SPD currently has open is not with the populist right or the extreme right, but with its coalition partners, the Greens and the liberals of the FDP. There are 17 billion euros missing to round out next year's general budgets in accordance with a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court and the partners cannot agree on how to resolve the mess. The SPD and the Greens are committed to lifting the debt brake to maintain the planned investments, to which the FDP, more thrifty, is radically opposed. Another option is to declare an "emergency situation" in 2024 and that's where the shots went in Congress.

Scholz gave the clue in his speech. He spent almost half an hour talking about Russia's aggression in Ukraine, its consequences in Europe and the need for Germany, in anticipation of the United States cutting off military aid to that country next year, to be in a position to compensate. that loss. The underlying reason is that if the federal government declared an emergency for 2024 due to the war in Ukraine and its consequences, it could suspend the debt brake again and spend more money.

There is no political party in Germany that questions military and economic aid to kyiv and in that sense, it is possible that the SPD option has the support of all parliamentary groups and the FDP. Another thing is the Court of Auditors and the assessment of the amount that should be budgeted for Ukraine and only for Ukraine. The opposite would be null, according to the mid-November ruling of the TC. In it, he declared unconstitutional the reallocation of €60 billion of unused coronavirus funds to a Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF). These funds are now missing for the coming years.

With the political debate focused on the 2024 budgets still in the air, it is understood that for the SPD the only salvation is Ukraine and that the situation in Gaza was settled with a closed applause to a few very brief words from the chancellor: "We are of the side of Israel and the right to defense".

Sánchez, like the perfect guest, did not sow discord. Quite the opposite. He closed his intervention by citing the figure of Jorge Semprún, Minister of Culture in the 80s, survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and whose birth this Sunday marks 100 years. Among the delegates at the SPD congress was, as an observer, the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor.