The traffic light often delivers hot needles and too little explanation. Part of this problem is the Chancellor. Two things are missing: the full truth and an idea of a happy ending.
Much of what the federal government tackled in the first year was neither thought up nor chosen. This government is governed: Russia's invasion of Ukraine swept aside most of the coalition agreement and dictated other things. The rest was improvisation, hot needle and a lot of money - on credit.
The Federal Chancellor grabbed the mantle of history and delivered an unusual but impressive historical depth of field and appropriate pathos: "A turning point". In just one major speech in the Bundestag, Olaf Scholz named strategic goals and reorientations: turning away from Russian oil or gas; the major training of the Bundeswehr for classic national defense; the drastically accelerated expansion of energy from the sun, wind and water.
The balance sheet after one year: Russian energy has come a long way, but otherwise the main focus was on cushioning the financial consequences of the war for citizens and companies. The federal government has decided on three aid packages, but they are riddled with bad craftsmanship and too little explanation. Scholz does not want to admit either of these things, which is why he is personally a problem for this government.
The government has promised almost 300 billion euros in benefits and loans. Some of these, such as the gas surcharge, had to be withdrawn because they were not well thought out or could not be implemented. Others are merely hopeful, such as the "accidental profits" skimmed off by the electricity producers. And a lot of the money flows like a watering can across society, from poor to rich. The government is incapable of relieving the burden in a targeted manner, so it relieves it in an untargeted manner - and thus at maximum expense. At the same time, it affords itself agonizingly stubborn tugging at the extension of the nuclear lifetime or the reform of Hartz IV.
Does it have to be like this?
Many citizens seem to have lost track and a lot of trust in the chancellor and the government. The government responded with the Chancellor's words "double boom", as if the same still applies: a lot helps a lot. The citizens are not really convinced. The majority of Germans have certainly not yet broken with this government. Of course, what is missing are two things: the full truth and an idea of a happy ending.
The full truth is: This crisis is different from the crises of the 16 Merkel years. This time, the old life doesn't return afterwards. Because energy will never be as cheap as it was before the war and because the global division of labor no longer works, parts of this republic's social and economic business model have disappeared. Irretrievable. Did the chancellor make that very clear to the Germans?
The positive narrative is also missing, although it is obvious: the drastically increased energy prices will continue to educate consumers and companies to massive energy saving - far more than the government had planned. The high prices are also putting completely different pressure on the expansion of renewable energies. So if there is anything good about war, it is this: In retrospect, climate protection will be one of the "war profiteers".
That could reconcile the old coalition agreement and the new situation since the beginning of the war. The Chancellor would only have to make this opportunity his own.